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The Same-Sex Marriage Cases

By ACLJ.org1372262403000

Earlier this morning the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and held that the supporters of Proposition 8 in California did not have standing to defend Prop 8 in federal court. 

You can read the DOMA ruling here.

You can read the Prop 8 ruling here.

Essentially, the DOMA ruling means that the federal government must provide the same benefits to same-sex spouses as opposite-sex spouses, if the same-sex marriage has been lawfully performed.  In other words, if a gay couple is married in a state that recognizes gay marriage, then the federal government will recognize that marriage on the same basis as a traditional marriage.

The Prop 8 ruling is far more complex, but the bottom line is that it likely clears the way for same-sex marriage in California.  It does not, however, have any real implications for marriages outside of California.

Critically, neither ruling establishes a federal, constitutional right to same-sex marriage.  Those states that have marriage amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and woman are untouched by these rulings.  Those states that recognize same-sex marriage are similarly untouched.

The bottom line?  The definition of marriage is reaffirmed as a matter primarily of state law, not federal law.  The issue goes back to the states, and for the foreseeable future, states will continue to define the parameters of lawful marriage.

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By ACLJ.org1418860967826

Acts of violence riddle communities across this nation, and while many have questioned how to stop the senseless crime, law enforcement officials in the City of Ocala, Florida, decided to engage with the community to try to bring an end to a spree of shootings that, within the span of just a couple...

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