Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Defense of Marriage Act

The U.S. Supreme Court is making headlines today, first of all with it’s 5-4 decision regarding the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The story is breaking everywhere, this excerpt from the Chicago Tribune:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in a major victory for the gay rights movement.

The ruling, on a 5-4 vote, means that legally married gay men and women are entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples.

The court was due to decide within minutes a second case concerning a California law that bans same-sex marriage in the state.

The federal case concerns the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits. It permits benefits such as Social Security survivor payments and federal tax deductions only for married, opposite-sex couples, not for legally married same-sex couples.

President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in 1996 after it passed Congress with only 81 of 535 lawmakers opposing it. Clinton, a Democrat, said earlier this year that times had changed since then and called for the law to be overturned.

The DOMA case before the court focuses on whether Edith Windsor of New York, who was married to a woman, should get the federal estate tax deduction available to heterosexuals when their spouses pass away…

[continues at the Chicago Tribune]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • lifobryan

    It’s important to consider exactly WHY religious conservatives oppose same-gender marriage. They are less worried about the “wrath of God,” than about his “piss-poor aim.” When lesbians marry in New York, God’s vengeful tornados seem to hit the midwest & Bible belt.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Well obviously he’s punishing the flock because they didn’t do enough to stop the evil civilization destroying homosexual horde. What else could it be?

      • lifobryan

        Ah yes …. that charming quirk of Yahwehean logic that has proved so endearing over the millennia.

    • Reasor

      Religious conservatives are freaking out because this decision cements the modern, post-agricultural definition of marriage as a legal contract between two equals. Today’s decision, legitimizing marriages where one partner isn’t more of a human being than the other in the eyes of the law due to gender, makes it all the more difficult to shove the “women are citizens, too” genie back into the bottle.

  • The Well Dressed Man

    :) The party is already starting here on the Left Coast!

  • Rus Archer

    now everyone can find out how much marriage sucks

    • BuzzCoastin

      that was the idea
      the legal profession just picked up a new client demographic
      unhappily married gays

  • Carl_Brutanananadilewski

    What’s next? A stalk of asparagus marrying a bonsai tree? An earthworm marrying a jellyfish? A Dictionary marrying a Thesaurus? Belvedere Vodka marrying Chelsea Handler? Andy Dick marrying some road kill? Where will it end?!?!1?!/?!!

    • VaudeVillain

      It will inevitably lead to a writhing mass of naked human flesh covering every available square inch of the planet, fucking like rabbits and expanding at a velocity that is a large fraction of C.

      • VoxMagi

        And God…how I love it so!

  • Rhoid Rager

    Perhaps I’m being cynical, but it sounds like the gubermint is trying to curry favour with as much of the population as they can. Something’s going down soon.

    • Jin The Ninja

      that’s what i keep saying. i mean in what way is assimilation into a military imperial power- equality?

      • VoxMagi

        Unfortunately, by that rationale, we wind up suggesting that every step forward in human rights across centuries is a mere reinforcement of evil…which opens the door to their undoing. Not exactly a route I think of as productive.

        • Rhoid Rager

          the ‘step forward in human rights across the centuries’ is code for a step back of authoritarianism. ‘human rights’ don’t really exist; they’re just a doggy biscuit–a mere release valve for the pressure of an increasingly liberated mass consciousness. as the mentality spreads, people gonna realize they don’t need a vacuous, abstract legal framework to act good to each other. the fuckers who think they are at the top of the pyramid, know in their heart of hearts that they actually aren’t…change is a comin’, son!

          • emperorreagan

            The Salinas vs. Texas ruling was a troubling victory for authoritarianism.

            The ruling on the ICWA, too, represents another front in the prolonged war on American Indian communities. Justice Thomas went so far as suggesting that the court should strike the entire act as unconstitutional.

            And of course the voting rights act ruling…

            I don’t think your initial suggestion is that cynical – some movement on the front of topics that concern middle & upper class people, but a clamping down on the other end seems to be the pattern…

        • Jin The Ninja

          however unproductive to american policy it may be, that is exactly how i feel.

          although i feel it less reinforcement than co-option, pacification, assimilation.

          semantic- maybe, but subtly distinct in my opinion.

  • BuzzCoastin

    People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage
    up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

  • Zakaria Fatal

    As a gay veteran that is 100% disabled, I calculated the financial savings between me and my partner. It’s going to save us hundreds of dollars a month when we marry.. I had no idea how much married people save over us. Gay people have been raked over the coals to the benefit of heterosexual married people. I’m ecstatic to feel less than a second class citizen,

  • VoxMagi

    I’ve long thought that America was ready for gay marriage…but woefully unprepared for the looming inevitable spectacle of gay divorce. Stay tuned to reality TV…it will happen soon enough…Gay Divorce Court! Ten times the drama and venom of regular divorce court, and every bit as dehumanizing and horrific.