DOMA struck down

DOMA has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

5-4:DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.

WASHINGTON — Married gay and lesbian couples are entitled to federal benefits, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a major victory for the gay rights movement.

In a second decision, the court declined to say whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Instead, the justices said that a case concerning California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, was not properly before them. Because officials in California had declined to appeal a trial court’s decision against them and because the proponents of Proposition 8 were not entitled to step into the state’s shoes to appeal from the decision, the court said, it was powerless to issue a decision.
The ruling leaves in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation. Its consequences for California were not immediately clear, but many legal analysts say that same-sex marriages there are likely to resume in a matter of weeks.

The decision on the federal law was 5 to 4, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy writing the majority opinion, which the four liberal-leaning justices joined.

The decision will immediately extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples, but it will also raise a series of major decisions for the Obama administration about how aggressively to overhaul references to marriage throughout the many volumes that lay out the laws of the United States.

Read the opinion on U.S. v. Windsor at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_g2bh.pdf

Read the Hollingsworth v. Perry opinion at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-144_8ok0.pdf

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