SCOTUS to Hear Marriage Equality Cases

The Supreme Court affirmed it will hear both cases regarding marriage equality this term.  One regards DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed and signed under President Clinton.  The second is about California’s controversial Proposition 8 ballot initiative which denied LGBT citizens the same rights as straight residents of the Golden State.

Marriage Equality is now the law in nine states and the District of Columbia but those couples are denied over a thousand rights granted to straight couples because of DOMA.  The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all Americans equal justice under law and federal appeals courts have overturned DOMA on those grounds:  you cannot have one set of rights for some people and another set for others.

The Proposition 8 case advocated by AFER on behalf of the gay community was overturned by the Ninth Circuit when it was, essentially, undefended.  The proponents of discrimination could not muster a single bona fide legal argument for their case.  Formally known as Hollingsworth v Perry it was decided on the basis of a Supreme Court case written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the acknowledged swing vote on a divided court.  This bodes well for a successful decision by the end of June.

2 thoughts on “SCOTUS to Hear Marriage Equality Cases”

  1. My guess is that the rulings will be positive, but the more interesting question is whether they will be broad decisions that make a real difference, or narrow decisions that don’t address marriage equality at the national level.  At the very least I hope this ends with DOMA dead and marriage equality in CA.

    Also, this being my first post here, hello everyone!

  2. The arguments will be heard on March 26-27 so circle that date on your calendar.

    I’m afraid the only way we’ll ever get marriage equality in Pennsylvania is through the Supreme Court.  These two decisions will be vital.

    I was on a conference call with AFER last fall where someone asked if they thought SCOTUS would combine the two cases and several experts thought that was a possibility.  It’s interesting they chose to hear them separately.  Some people think they’ll split and uphold Prop * while also upholding DOMA.  That would limit the “damage” to only the 9th Circuit states.

    Justice Kennedy is, again, the swing vote and the Prop 8 decision was based on a case for which he wrote the majority opinion.

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