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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.

Defending Students Religious Liberty

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Every week, numerous families, from all across America, contact us at the ACLJ because their children who are public school students have been told they cannot bring their Bibles or Rosaries to school. Why not? Because they may offend other students. For the same unconstitutional reasons, the...

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The Battle Continues for Equal Access

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The U.S. Supreme Court today issued an order declining, without explanation, to review the case of Bronx Household of Faith v. The Board of Education of the City of New York . This denial puts an unfortunate end to a more-than-decade long battle between a New York City church and the city’s...

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An ever-growing federal government seeks to control the populace. That is the nature of the beast. Those in power want more power. They want no opposition. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “History has informed us that bodies of men, as well as individuals, are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.” And...

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Defending Rights for the Discriminated

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Last year we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins, a student who was denied admission to the Radiation Therapy Program at the Community College of Baltimore County (a public college) after he expressed a religious viewpoint during the program’s admissions process. Because Mr. Jenkins had...

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