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]