• October 2, 2014

Supreme Court gives legally married gay couples equal footing

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:30 am

WASHINGTON — In a historic day for gay rights, the Supreme Court gave the nation’s legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans on Wednesday and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

In deciding its first cases on the issue, the high court did not issue the sweeping declaration sought by gay rights advocates that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the country. But in two rulings, both by bare 5-4 majorities, the justices gave gay marriage supporters encouragement in confronting the nationwide patchwork of laws that outlaw such unions in roughly three dozen states.

Gay-rights supporters cheered and hugged outside the court. Opponents said they mourned the rulings and vowed to keep up their fight.

In the first of the narrow rulings in its final session of the term, the court wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law, the Defense of Marriage Act, that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that are otherwise available to married couples.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by the four liberal justices, said the purpose of the law was to impose a disadvantage and “a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.”

The other case, dealing with California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, was resolved by an unusual lineup of justices in a technical legal fashion that said nothing about gay marriage.

But the effect was to leave in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 ban was unconstitutional.

Gov. Jerry Brown quickly ordered that marriage licenses be issued to gay couples as soon as a federal appeals court lifts its hold on the lower court ruling. That will take least 25 days, the appeals court said.

California, where gay marriage was briefly legal in 2008, would be the 13th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex couples to marry and would raise the share of the U.S. population in gay marriage states to 30 percent. Six states have adopted same-sex marriage in the past year, amid a rapid evolution in public opinion that now shows majority support for the right to marry in most polls.

The 12 other states are Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Eliza posted at 9:40 am on Thu, Jun 27, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 786

    @ The 12 other states are Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.


    If the law in the states listed above legally allows same/sex marriage.
    Then it would only be fair and legal law for any married couple , even same sex,under that states law, to receive the same benefits that any married couple in that state would have.
    California, If I remember correctly, The people themselves voted that they didn't want a same/sex marriage law enacted. But that has now been taken out of their hands ,Thus far.

    Any laws pertaining to anything as important as marriage which can then involve children, should always be left in the hands of the people as a whole,
    not in the hands of some men or women who carry the title of politician,
    Politicians are not always the best judges for what's best for those people.

     

Featured Events