DOMA

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN DENIAL OF FEDERAL BENEFITS UNDER DOMA, DISMISSES PROP 8 CASE

 

 

Governor Brown orders county clerks to begin same-sex marriages as soon as 9th Circuit Court lifts stay

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme court, in closely divided 5-4 rulings, handed down decisions today in two landmark same –sex marriage cases. The rulings are being hailed as victories for supporters of same-sex marriage, while opponents vow to continue the battle at the state level. In California, however, the high court's dismissal of the Proposition 8 case opens the door for weddings between same-sex couples to resume soon.

For Dayna Dunbar of Spring Valley, the news sparked an emotional chord.  She and her partner, Brenda, have been together since 2001 and have an adopted son, Jesse (photo, left). 

“We were just holding each other, in tears,” she told ECM today.  When their son heard news of the court decision, Dunbar added, “He was so excited, he hugged us about three times each.”

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: HIGH COURT ON RIGHTS: 1 WIN, 1 LOSS, 2 DRAWS

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

Columnist's elation over marriage equality rulings is tempered by dismay over high court's ruling on Voting Rights Act

June 26, 2013 (San Diego)--The sun is shining this Wednesday, June 26 and it’s a beautiful, if rather hot, day in San Diego. I sent my husband Charles off to work this morning after we both got up early to watch MS-NBC broadcast news of the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on two cases involving the rights of same-sex couples to marry each other. It was a personal story to us because Charles and I are legally married.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: MARRYING YOUR GAY FIRST COUSIN?

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

April 7, 2013 (San Diego)--On March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two major cases over whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

On March 26 they heard arguments on whether Proposition 8, which California voters passed in November 2008 to short-circuit the ruling of the California Supreme Court that the state’s constitution did not allow it to deny marriage to same-sex couples, is unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The next day they heard the case of Edith Windsor, who legally married her long-term partner, Thea Spyer, in Canada in 2007, then got socked with a federal estate tax bill of $367,000 because the federal government didn’t recognize her marriage under the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DoMA) passed by Congress in 1996.

The two cases rest on somewhat different legal issues, and it’s quite possible the court could throw out Proposition 8 and uphold DoMA — or vice versa — but the underlying issues are the same.

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS RULES DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

May 31, 2012 (Boston) – Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  

Passed by Congress in 1996, DOMA declared that a marriage is between a man and a woman, nullifying marriages of gay and lesbian couples for purposes of federal law.  

Judge Michael Boudin, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, authored the unanimous decision. He was joined by Judge Sandra Lynch,an appointee of President Bill Clinton, and Chief Judge Juan Torruella, a Ronald Reagan appointee.