Unconstitutional, 5-4. Wow.

In a highly anticipated ruling today, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

“DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” SCOTUSblog reports.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors’ benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.

Section 3 of the law defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” and a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” That provision had been struck down by eight lower courts before the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In other words, same-sex couples who are legally married will be entitled to equal treatment under federal law– with regard to, for example, income taxes and Social Security benefits.

4 thoughts on “DOMA

  1. DOMA is declared unconstitutional. Duh. But then Bill Clinton signed all sorts of unconstitutional legislation after triangulating what the publics response would be. Then there’s the matter of Chip Starnes the American businessman trapped in is office by his Chinese employees. The BBC interviewed him today and asked why the police hadn’t stepped in and freed him yet? “You must remember,” he said, “that the people of China run this country. China is not run by its public officials like in western countries.” Think of that. The “people running the country” would never fly in the United States because the Supreme Court would declare it unconstitutional. How free do you feel?

  2. Guests on WNYC are saying this DOMA decision declares the part of the immigration bill which would remove spouses of homosexuals immigration rights is now moot. The DOMA decision allows spouses of American citizens to be sponsored by their American citizen spouse for immigration to this country.

    This is a smallish subset of gay marriages, but it is extremely important to the people involved in such marriages.

  3. Well after yesterday’s travesties, I attach little value to any decision out of this court.

  4. Did anyone else notice that the same useless court struck down something or other with the voting rights act? True, I couldn’t exactly figure it out cuz no one would explain it, but think I finally figured it out.

    Black people=useless
    Gay people=useful

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