Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

WASHINGTON — In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court today struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.

The other was a technical ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.  That outcome probably will allow state officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the nation’s most populous state in about a month.

In neither case did the court make a sweeping statement, either in favor of or against same-sex marriage.  And in a sign that neither victory was complete for gay rights, the high court said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states.  A separate provision of the federal marriage law that allows a state to not recognize a same-sex union from elsewhere remains in place.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=487453

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