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#1 Posted by umbrafeline (5217 posts) - - Show Bio

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/news/supreme-court-strikes-down-doma-140330141.html

The Supreme Court released two major decisions expanding gay rights across the country Wednesday as hordes of cheering demonstrators greeted the news outside. The justices struck down a federal law barring the recognition of same-sex marriage in a split decision, ruling that the law violates the rights of gays and lesbians and intrudes into states' rights to define and regulate marriage. The court also dismissed a case involving California's gay marriage ban, ruling that supporters of the ban did not have the legal standing, or right, to appeal a lower court's decision striking down Proposition 8 as discriminatory.

The decision clears the way for gay marriage to again be legal in the nation's most populous state, even though the justices did not address the broader legal argument that gay people have a fundamental right to marriage.

[Complete coverage of the gay marriage decisions, including video and live chat with legal experts.]

The twin decisions throw the fight over gay marriage back to the states, since the court ruled the federal government must recognize the unions if states sanction them, but did not curtail states' rights to ban gay marriage if they choose.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's conservative-leaning swing vote with a legal history of supporting gay rights, joined his liberal colleagues in the DOMA decision, which will dramatically expand the rights of married gay couples in the country to access more than 1,000 federal benefits and responsibilities of marriage previously denied them.

"The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States," Kennedy wrote of DOMA. He concluded that states must be allowed by the federal government to confer "dignity" on same-sex couples if they choose to legalize gay marriage. DOMA "undermines" same-sex marriages in visible ways and "tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition."

Eighty-three-year-old New Yorker Edith Windsor brought the DOMA suit after she was made to pay more than $363,000 in estate taxes when her same-sex spouse died. If the federal government had recognized her marriage, Windsor would not have owed the sum. She argued that the government has no rational reason to exclude her marriage of more than four decades from the benefits and obligations other married couples receive.

DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and prevented the government from granting marriage benefits in more than 1,000 federal statutes to same-sex married couples in the 12 states and District of Columbia that allow gay marriage.

With this decision, Kennedy furthers his reputation as a defender of gay rights from the bench. He authored two of the most important Supreme Court decisions involving, and ultimately affirming, gay rights: Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and Romer v. Evans (1996). In Romer, Kennedy struck down Colorado's constitutional amendment banning localities from passing anti-discrimination laws protecting gays and lesbians. In Lawrence, Kennedy invalidated state anti-sodomy laws, ruling that gay people have a right to engage in sexual behavior in their own homes free from the fear of punishment.

Legal experts said the DOMA decision lays the foundation for a future Supreme Court ruling that could find a broader right for same-sex couples to marry.

The decisions mark the first time the highest court has waded into the issue of same-sex marriage. Just 40 years ago, the Supreme Court tersely refused to hear a case brought by a gay couple who wanted to get married in Minnesota, writing that that their claim raised no significant legal issue. At the time, legal opinions often treated homosexuality as criminal, sexually deviant behavior rather than involuntary sexual orientation. Since then, public opinion has changed dramatically on gay people and same-sex marriage, with a majority of Americans only just recently saying they support it. Now, 12 states representing about 18 percent of the U.S. population allow same-sex marriage. With California, the percentage of people living in gay marriage states shoots up to 30.

With the Prop 8 decision, the Supreme Court refused to wade into the constitutional issues surrounding the California gay marriage case, dismissing the Proposition 8 argument on procedural grounds. The legal dodge means a lower court's ruling making same-sex marriage legal in California will most likely stand, opening the door to marriage to gays and lesbians in the country's most populous state without directly ruling on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage.

California voters passed Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage in 2008, after 18,000 same-sex couples had already tied the knot under a state Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. A same-sex married couple with children, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, sued the state of California when their six-month-old marriage was invalidated by the ballot initiative. They argued that Proposition 8 discriminated against them and their union based only on their sexual orientation, and that the state had no rational reason for denying them the right to marry. Two lower courts ruled in their favor, and then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he would no longer defend Proposition 8 in court, leaving a coalition of Prop 8 supporters led by a former state legislator to take up its defense.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan to rule the defenders of Prop 8 did not have the standing to defend the ban in court. The unlikely coalition of liberals and conservatives argued that the Prop 8 supporters could not prove they were directly injured by the lower court's decision to overturn the ban and allow gay people to marry.

Same-sex marriage will most likely not be immediately legal in California, since the losing side may be given a few weeks to petition the courts.

The Prop 8 case was argued by two high-profile lawyers, Ted Olson and David Boies, who previously faced off against each other in Bush v. Gore. Olson, a conservative and Bush's former solicitor general, and Boies, a liberal, have cast gay marriage as the civil rights issue of our time.

Boies said on the steps of the Supreme Court Wednesday that the court had shown gay marriage does not harm society. "Today the United States Supreme Court said as much," Boies said. "They cannot point to anything that harms them because these two love each other.” President Barack Obama also reportedly called Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign gay rights group, to congratulate him on the legal victory. "We're proud of you guys, and we're proud to have this in California," the president said, according to audio on MSNBC.

"The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free," the president said in a statement.

Olson made the argument that gay marriage should be a conservative cause in a recent interview with NPR. "If you are a conservative, how could you be against a relationship in which people who love one another want to publicly state their vows ... and engage in a household in which they are committed to one another and become part of the community and accepted like other people?"

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), a coalition of mostly Republican House lawmakers, defended DOMA since the Obama administration announced they believed the law was unconstitutional in 2011. (Chief Justice John Roberts criticized the president for this move during oral arguments in the case, saying the president lacked “the courage of his convictions” in continuing to enforce the law but no longer defending it in court.)

"While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement. "A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman."

#2 Posted by Vortex13 (12264 posts) - - Show Bio

Woot woot!

#3 Edited by Jezer (3183 posts) - - Show Bio

@umbrafeline:

I don't know how many people tell you this, but I love your threads.

They're like the slivers of pertinent information in a void filled with words that I probably didn't ever need to read...if I had a forum crush, it would be you. lol

No creepo

#4 Posted by Vaeternus (9410 posts) - - Show Bio

This doesnt effect me either way really, now lets have a hero/vigilante act into place ;-)

#5 Edited by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm happy about any step towards equality.

#6 Edited by 2099man (172 posts) - - Show Bio

this is a good day for America. Future generations will look back on this and hopefully feel proud of this grandparents. Great job guys. :)

#7 Posted by judasnixon (7419 posts) - - Show Bio

And the state of Mississippi broke out in a riot......

#8 Edited by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

Horrible decision . This is not what the people want.

The "Supreme Court" is not Constitutional.

#9 Posted by Lvenger (21837 posts) - - Show Bio

#10 Edited by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

Horrible decision . This is not what the people want.

The "Supreme Court" is not Constitutional.

Is this sarcasm?

#11 Posted by XImpossibruX (5311 posts) - - Show Bio

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

#12 Edited by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

Horrible decision . This is not what the people want.

The "Supreme Court" is not Constitutional.

Is this sarcasm?

Is your comment sarcasm?

#13 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

Horrible decision . This is not what the people want.

The "Supreme Court" is not Constitutional.

Is this sarcasm?

Is your comment sarcasm?

No. It's an honest question.

#14 Posted by ShadowX (1207 posts) - - Show Bio

This is great but we still have a long way to go. Even though gay marriage is made to be the biggest problem in the media. There are far more important things we should be working on. Such as the high levels of unemployment, homelessness, and suicide rates especially in lgbtq youth. Once again m haply this happened, but we have bigger fish to fry.

#15 Posted by mikethekiller (8530 posts) - - Show Bio

Equality is good.

#16 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

But... no free speech.

#17 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe:

I am not happy about this decision, even more so the mannor in which it was decided was rather immature. Ugh. No I don't hate gays before anyone asks lol, just don't support gay marriage. Don't attack me lol ^^

#18 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio
#19 Posted by Bogey (1017 posts) - - Show Bio

Now I can finally go to sleep and stop worrying about an federal ban for gay marriage.

#20 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio
#21 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@ximpossibrux said:

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

But... no free speech.

Where are you getting this?

It's the truth.

No free speech

They have limits on hate speech, just because we're more opening for people to voice their opinion no matter how hateful, does not mean they don't have any free speech. It's guaranteed in their constitution, just because they don't like spreading of hate doesn't mean they're something like North Korea, where there is literally NO freedom of speech.

#22 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@ximpossibrux said:

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

But... no free speech.

Where are you getting this?

It's the truth.

No free speech

They have limits on hate speech, just because we're more opening for people to voice their opinion no matter how hateful, does not mean they don't have any free speech. It's guaranteed in their constitution, just because they don't like spreading of hate doesn't mean they're something like North Korea, where there is literally NO freedom of speech.

No, the have very limited speech.

"Hate" speech is about taking away your freedoms.

#23 Posted by Billy Batson (58599 posts) - - Show Bio
#24 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe: Hate speech is about spreading hate. But I'll let this die, there's no need to further this interaction.

#25 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe:

Actually your right to an extent. People should be allowed to speak thier minds if they are against something ( provided they do it civilized and non agressivley). That was what this very country was founded on, that principle. Now people can't even speak their own minds without being attacked.

#26 Edited by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@martyyy15 said:

@cezar_thescribe:

Actually your right to an extent. People should be allowed to speak thier minds if they are against something ( provided they do it civilized and non agressivley). That was what this very country was founded on, that principle. Now people can't even speak their own minds without being attacked.

This country sure, not Canada. We can't just hold our standards to their's, so they happen to resent speech that could harm other individuals, that's their choice as a country.

#27 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio
#28 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@hbktimhbk:

I'm confused are you saying candada's speech policy is good or bad? I'm sorry but I can't seem to get a read on your opinion from that post lol

#29 Edited by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio

Good to hear.

#30 Edited by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@martyyy15 said:

@hbktimhbk:

I'm confused are you saying candada's speech policy is good or bad? I'm sorry but I can't seem to get a read on your opinion from that post lol

I don't like when people say things to purposely harm others, personally. But in this country, they have the right to do it.

That doesn't mean that if they don't have that right in Canada then Canada has "no free speech"

#31 Edited by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@hbktimhbk:

I'm confused are you saying candada's speech policy is good or bad? I'm sorry but I can't seem to get a read on your opinion from that post lol

It's bad.

No one has the right to limit your free speech.

#32 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@hbktimhbk:

Oh I agree there, that people should not say things to hurt others. But to classify such things as saying "I don't support gay marriage" as hate speech is what I mean. That is not hateful, simply one disagreeing with a position and stating their position.

#33 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe:

To a degree they do. ITs the do you shout fire in a building situation ( I don't remember the exact wording of it but it had something to do with gov limiting some free speech). And I do think SOME should be limited, but not something as harmless as disagreeing with a certain point of view and stating your own opinion

#34 Edited by HBKTimHBK (5425 posts) - - Show Bio

@martyyy15 said:

@hbktimhbk:

Oh I agree there, that people should not say things to hurt others. But to classify such things as saying "I don't support gay marriage" as hate speech is what I mean. That is not hateful, simply one disagreeing with a position and stating their position.

That's fine, that's not what I was responding to though. It's this whole Westboro Baptist approach of homosexuality being a sin and gays going to hell for it...yeah, they have a right in this country, but if other countries don't give them that right it's their choice.

#35 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@hbktimhbk:

ROFL oh those morons lol. They don't know crap about the bible. If they did they'd have the IQ to know gee God doesn't hate anyone. And I belive the ACT of homosexuality is a sin. It is not a sin to be gay however, doing gay things is though. But I don't hate them. I go by love the sinner hate the sin. If someone supports gay marriage yeah I disagree with them but they are enttiled to their view. I may challenge it but I'm not gonna attack them or anything.

#36 Edited by XImpossibruX (5311 posts) - - Show Bio

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@ximpossibrux said:

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

But... no free speech.

Where are you getting this?

It's the truth.

No free speech

They have limits on hate speech, just because we're more opening for people to voice their opinion no matter how hateful, does not mean they don't have any free speech. It's guaranteed in their constitution, just because they don't like spreading of hate doesn't mean they're something like North Korea, where there is literally NO freedom of speech.

No, the have very limited speech.

"Hate" speech is about taking away your freedoms.

And what does that give you? West boro baptist church.

If we allow people to pour out hate we end up with those people, who guess what are BANNED from Canada.

Canada showing how to do it right since 1867.

#37 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@hbktimhbk said:

@cezar_thescribe said:

@ximpossibrux said:

ZZZZZZZZZ

Canada already allows gay marriage

But... no free speech.

Where are you getting this?

It's the truth.

No free speech

They have limits on hate speech, just because we're more opening for people to voice their opinion no matter how hateful, does not mean they don't have any free speech. It's guaranteed in their constitution, just because they don't like spreading of hate doesn't mean they're something like North Korea, where there is literally NO freedom of speech.

No, the have very limited speech.

"Hate" speech is about taking away your freedoms.

And what does that give you? West boro baptist church.

If we allow people to pour out hate we end up with those people, who guess what are BANNED from Canada.

Canada showing how to do it right since 1867.

Canada is wrong.

They are Fascist.

#38 Edited by joshmightbe (24802 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe: Actually anti-gay laws have been pretty much synonymous with actual Fascist governments throughout the history of Fascism.

#39 Edited by GraniteSoldier (9280 posts) - - Show Bio

Every human has the right to be treated equally under the law. As an American I am happy to see this step. Does it effect me? No. But it does effect people I know, and they are no less human than I am.

#40 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe: Actually anti-gay laws have been pretty much synonymous with actual Fascist governments throughout the history of Fascism.

YAWN! :p

#41 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

lol

#42 Posted by Dabee (2399 posts) - - Show Bio

I live right near a "Traditional Marriage Alliance" that always shows up on the news protesting these things and talking about what a shame it is. (I live right near the Supreme Court.) I always love watching them mope and laughing at them. HOORAY FOR CIVIL RIGHTS! :-D

#43 Posted by martyyy15 (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@dabee:

Lucky dude, wished I lived near one.

#44 Edited by joshmightbe (24802 posts) - - Show Bio

@cezar_thescribe: Oh I forgot when history disagrees with a political view its automatically discounted. Sorry I thought you were actually trying to have a real conversation about the topic, my bad.

#45 Posted by The_Legendary_SuperSaiyan_Hulk (11424 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm happy about any step towards equality.

Equality is good.

Every human has the right to be treated equally under the law. As an American I am happy to see this step. Does it effect me? No. But it does effect people I know, and they are no less human than I am.

Equality is good :)

#46 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18884 posts) - - Show Bio

Ignoring some of the rather ignorant if not unsurprising comments this is a good thing. People who dispute that are bigots.

@shadowx said:

This is great but we still have a long way to go. Even though gay marriage is made to be the biggest problem in the media. There are far more important things we should be working on. Such as the high levels of unemployment, homelessness, and suicide rates especially in lgbtq youth. Once again m haply this happened, but we have bigger fish to fry.

Yeah that is a fair point. I wonder how much allowing gay marriage may actually change peoples perceptions of people of a different sexuality. Maybe it will help in the long run but more could always be done to get people to be accepting of a person regardless of their sexuality and whatnot.

#47 Posted by WillPayton (10010 posts) - - Show Bio

It's about time. No doubt now the religious fanatics will have a fit and start trying to pass state laws to make it illegal, claiming that now people can marry goats or toasters or whatever.

#48 Posted by The Stegman (26582 posts) - - Show Bio

How this is still even an issue baffles me.

#49 Posted by _Cain_ (23659 posts) - - Show Bio

Faith in humanity = Raised...slightly

It's about time. No doubt now the religious fanatics will have a fit and start trying to pass state laws to make it illegal, claiming that now people can marry goats or toasters or whatever.

The difference is that a goat or a toaster can't show consent to a marriage where another human being can

#50 Posted by DocStrange (152 posts) - - Show Bio

Legal recognition of equality is a great and important right, but... only now? And by a margin of only 5-4? And we still have people who claim not to be bigots saying things like "I don't agree with gay marriage" without quantifying the statement. How can anyone be against equal rights but have nothing against "those people"? Same rights, same words, same definitions.