The effect of the just-released Supreme Court decision is to give gays equal rights under the law, effectively undermining DOMA. 

They cited the Equal Protection clause, so this wasn't decided on a states rights basis. It has the effect of Federal law. 

Now, gays can apply for benefits which had been limited to heterosexual couples under DOMA. 

DOMA is gone!

Tags: Court, DOMA, Federal, Supreme, gays, law

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Secton 2 of DoMA stands, which preserves the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages or unions from other jurisdictions. It seems like the Proposition 8 case would have had broader implications on the states than the DoMA ruling does. Perhaps the hope of the more progressive justices is that individual states will come around through legislation of their own before the Supreme Court is forced to deal with it. I would be ambivalent if I was American.

The part that seems odd to me, and hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong, is this:

Previously, a same-sex couple could have their marriage recognized in the eyes of their own state, yet not the eyes of the federal government. Now, with a change of address, that same couple could hypothetically have their marriage recognized in the eyes of the federal government, but not in the eyes of their home state.

Sadly, it may take more decisions by the Supremes to settle all the issues. 

Marriage equality supporters are understandably ecstatic that the Supreme Court has declared section three of DOMA unconstitutional.

...for a subset of same-sex partners, the ruling won’t truly guarantee them equal treatment under the law.

The nature of the court’s DOMA decision, combined with its decision to punt the California Prop 8 case about whether there’s a constitutional right to gay marriage, will ultimately create a sort of three-tiered status for same-sex partners.

The first tier is same sex married couples who live in states that allow same sex marriage. They gained the most from today’s decision. The third tier is same sex couples who live in states that do not recognize same sex marriage. They gained very little direct benefit from the court striking down DOMA. The middle tier is where things get complicated: same sex couples who marry in one state but then choose to move (or more likely are forced to, for work, family, or other reasons) to a state that doesn’t allow same sex marriage. (read a lot more here)


"Marriage equality supporters are understandably ecstatic that the Supreme Court has declared section three of DOMA unconstitutional."

And doubtless, none were more ecstatic than divorce lawyers, who just saw their client base expand exponentially. Come on, gays don't get along any better than straights do, once you get past that, "us against them" thing, they have the same personality issues we all do --

Oh absolutely.  And in fact it is a very good argument for the overturning of the DOMA position.  Divorces amongst gays are just as likely to be acrimonious and involve children, not just finances.  It is important that a non-involved third party, such as a court, should be able to manage the separating couples' access to children as well as fair distribution of assets.

Come on, say it - you missed us, didn't you?

Indeed, but my aim is getting better...

Did I say, "us"? Silly me! I meant "them" - no "us" - just "them," over there - somewhere - WAAAY over there -->

I wonder what this will do for gays in Colorado who avail themselves of domestic partnerships.  We passed via referendum a constitutional ban on same sex marriage, but the legislature just took as much as they could from that by legalizing domestic partnership, which have most if not all of the legal privileges of a marriage under Colorado law.

Will the feds consider DPs as having the same legal priveleges as a marriage?

One other part of DOMA that (apparently) was untouched was the part where a state that bans same sex marriage is shielded from recognizing those marriages from other states (which one could argue violates the "full faith and credit" clause).

That remaining part of DOMA may require another lawsuit. The Supremes don't do a "Oh and by the way, we don't like this either." They just rule on the specific issue brought before the Court.

We'd need someone married in a full-same-sex-marraige state who moves to some place with not even Domestic Partnerships (since they'd have to show harm), probably, to get standing to sue to overturn that other part.

[By the way I know many people here think I am somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun (that flaming leftist!) politically, but that in no way implies I am a "states rights" advocate.  NO government has the right to arbitrarily deny individuals their rights, and one of the proper roles of the federal government is to stop the state governments from doing so.  Ron Paul, who had a lot of appeal amongst libertarians and even some individuals who are sort of left-ish, occupier types, was *extremely* disappointing in this regard.]


...NO government has the right to arbitrarily deny individuals their rights, and one of the proper roles of the federal government is to stop the state governments from doing so...

I concur.

I would think the federal government would take its cues from the state and treat the contract with similar gravity. My understanding is that Colorado passed a civil union act this year which strengthens the rights of enjoined gay couples, yet still is not quite on par with legal marriage.


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