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.”;
Keep reading »
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.
Keep reading »
Remember this morning, when the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health care law? That was awesome. But in the moments after the ruling came down, there was mass confusion about what it all meant. After all, Supreme Court rulings aren’t just like, YAY or NAY. They’re hundreds of complexly worded legal documents. So because both CNN and Fox News were concentrating so hard on being first with news of the ruling, instead of right, they both went to air with the wrong information. It’s a very “Dewey Defeats Truman” kind of moment, isn’t it? And it proves that reading really is fundamental.
Just how much does gender influence the way a judge makes decisions?
The New York Times tried to tackle this behemoth question—as it pertains to Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court—in one tight little article this weekend. And while we hate to nitpick, the title alone kinda pissed us off: “Debate On Whether Female Judges Decide Differently Arises Anew.”
Of course men and women are different. We have different life experiences, different hormones coursing through our bodies, and different ideas of what constitutes a clean bathtub. But our problem when talking about differences is more of a semantic one: why is being a male considered “normal,” but being a female is considered “different”? We don’t like the implication of phrases like “will Sotomayor decide differently” or “does Ginsberg decide differently?”, as if decisions made by males are status quo and what should be normal. How did being of the less-represented gender equal some kind of bias? Keep reading »