Ding Dong The DOMA’s Dead
Some good things have finally been handed down by SCOTUS. Earlier this week, heinously gutted the Voter’s Rights Act of 1965, essentially allowing states the opportunity to reinstall Jim Crow type voting restrictions. Today’s decisions effectively wiped out DOMA, as well as California’s Prop 8.
I’m no legal expert by any means, but my understanding of the decisions is this: A key part of DOMA which did not allow federal benefits and protections to legally married same sex couples was ruled as discriminatory, and therefore unconstitutional. What this means is that any same sex couple married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, are now entitled to any federal benefits and protections afforded to married straight couples. On a federal level, defense of marriage is officially dead.
In the case of Prop 8, SCOTUS kind of, sort of, not really handed down a decision. They didn’t actually rule on the legality of Prop 8, they merely ruled that the circuit court’s earlier strike down of Prop 8 could not be challenged due to a jurisdictional technicality. They shut the door on Prop 8, but left a window open for other states to introduce Prop 8 type legislation.
In essence, SCOTUS delivered this message today: If you’re legally married, you’re federally protected. However, the Supreme Court as of now, will leave marriage equality to the states, as well as the lower courts and not intervene.
While it may not be a complete victory for marriage equality, it’s still a huge win, and an immense step in the right direction.
- United States Supreme Court Decides Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Case and Prop. 8 Case – SCOTUS Takes Step Towards Acknowledging that Equal Protection Under the Law is Closer than Ever to Being a Reality for all Citizens (whitelawpllc.wordpress.com)
- Prop 8 and DOMA Ruling (westcoastatheist.wordpress.com)
- Equality For All. Down with DOMA and Prop 8 (videosocialblog.wordpress.com)