This June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in a case called Windsor v. United States. The woman behind the nation-changing lawsuit is Edith Windsor, an 84-year-old lesbian whose spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The ladies got engaged in 1967 and for 40 years they stayed near-secretly engaged, finally marrying in Canada in 2007. After Thea died, Edie was hit with $600,000 in taxes, because the U.S. government did not recognize her same-sex marriage as valid. By ruling DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court affirmed the right for gay couples to have their marriages recognized on the federal level. Keep reading »
This June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in a case called Windsor v. United States. The woman behind the nation-changing lawsuit is Edith Windsor, an 84-year-old lesbian whose spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The women got engaged in 1967 and Edie wore a circular brooch with diamonds, so that coworkers and neighbors would not know they were a couple. For 40 years they stayed engaged, finally marrying in Canada in 2007. After Thea died, Edie was hit with $600,000 in taxes, because her U.S. government did not recognize her same-sex marriage as valid. By ruling DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of gay couples to have their marriages recognized on the federal level. As a runner-up for TIME magazine’s Person Of The Year distinction, here Edith speaks with TIME about the depth of her relationship with Thea and hiding their sexuality from anyone but their closest friends for decades. “There’s some legitimacy that we never knew we were lacking,” Edith said about getting married. “If you really care about the quality of someone’s life as much as you care about as your own, you have it made.” What a sweet and lovely woman. Edith, you’re my person of the year. [TIME]
The striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act is an enormous victory for same-sex marriage. Alas, there are always several assholes out there to remind us that ignorance and homophobia are still alive and well. On Wednesday, openly gay Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat from Philadelphia, was not permitted to speak about DOMA on the floor of the Pennsylvania House. Why? Because bigots wouldn’t let him. A procedural maneuver in the PA legislature requires just one legislator to shut down such impromptu remarks and Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe announced:
“I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,”
Yes, you read that correctly. Sims was not allowed to speak in a government building because he maybe was going to say something in violation of “God’s law.” Welcome to America! We have separation of church and state here, people. Later, Rep. Metcalfe told the AP, “For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There’s no free speech on the floor.” Keep reading »
This week, the Supreme Court made the historic ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional. It’s an enormous victory for gays and lesbians, their families, and anyone who cares about equality.
So how did The New Yorker, arguably the most reputable magazine in the country, memorialize the occasion on their cover? With Bert and Ernie, two puppets from “Sesame Street,” watching a television with the Supreme Court justices shown the screen.
The background, in case you aren’t aware, is that there have long been jokes that roommates Bert and Ernie are actually extra-special roommates. Predictably, some whackadoodles have gotten upset about children watching “Sesame Street” and wondering why two male puppets (and their rubber ducky) live together.
I’ll be honest: I think the cover is a little cute just because I like Jim Henson puppets, especially the ones from “Sesame Street.” I also think it’s an eye-catching image, which means it may sell better on the newsstands (and is likely the primary reason The New Yorker chose it). The media is a business after all.
But not everyone feels the same way I do. Let’s ignore the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, who posted the image under the homophobic title “Innocence. Lost.” Blogger Tyler Coates of Flavorwire, whom I implicitly trust to interpret all things LGBTQ-related, blasted the cover as “infantilizing,” “offensive,” and click-baiting for Internet outrage. Keep reading »
The Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down DOMA and Prop 8 deserve some serious celebration. And what food would be more fitting for this sweet, sweet victory than an array of rainbow desserts? I found recipes for rainbow cake, popsicles, cupcakes, cookies, truffles, and much more. Click through to check ‘em out!
On Wednesday morning the Supreme Court ruled to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s anti-gay marriage Prop 8. After months of waiting for a decision, gay marriage supporters can breathe a sigh of relief.
Photos from around the Supreme Court and in San Francisco’s City Hall capture the ebullient mood of gay rights supporters on hearing the decision. Click through to see how gay marriage advocates are celebrating the win.
In a huge victory for gay marriage supporters, the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 on Wednesday that the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional.
According to the SCOTUS blog the judges ruled in the following fashion:
Roberts dissents. Scalia dissents. DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
According to the ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, were all in the minority.
The statute was ruled invalid, according to the Supreme Court’s blog, because:
“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.”;
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After three months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of the United States is due to give rulings on the cases of Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry this Thursday June 27. These two cases mean very different things for the fate of same-sex marriage in America.
Windsor v. United States is a case that challenges the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The case was brought forth after Edith Windsor of New York lost almost $400,000 in federal estate taxes just because she was married to a woman instead of a man. Windsor legally married her partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer, in Canada in 2007. When Spyer died a few years ago, Windsor inherited the entire estate, but that estate was subject to taxes that would not have applied to a heterosexual couple.
In lower courts, DOMA was deemed unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws with regard to same-sex couples married legally in states that allow same-sex marriage. Although Spyer and Windsor were married in Canada, New York is one of the 12 states in which same-sex marriage is legal.
Now in the Supreme Court, this case will decide how the federal government will treat legal same-sex marriages. DOMA could either be supported by the Supreme Court or overturned. If DOMA is overturned, same-sex couples already in civil unions will be afforded the same rights as married heterosexual couples in federal laws and programs such as Social Security benefits, income tax, estate tax, and immigration. These rights will also apply to future, legal, same-sex marriages.
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