Here’s Why SCOTUS Struck Down the Defense of Marriage Act

credit: OZinOH / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDcredit: OZinOH / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDThis morning the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The 5-4 ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the Court's four liberal Justices, takes aim at the law for unfairly stigmatizing individuals who enter into same-sex marriages in states where those unions have been made legal. Here’s the gist of the argument.

DOMA has to be considered in the context of legal same-sex marriage in the states. Kennedy points out that multiple states have enacted laws permitting same sex marriage. Those states, he writes, “decided that same-sex couples should have the right  to marry and so live with pride in themselves and their union and in a status of equality with all other married persons.” Given that a dozen states have legalized same-sex marriage, “the design, purpose, and effect of DOMA should be considered as the beginning point in deciding” whether it’s Constitutional.

DOMA was designed to affect people participating in legal marriages. Kennedy notes early on that the federal law does not actually forbid states from legalizing same-sex marriage. But it is intended to directly affect individuals who are engaged in legal unions—individuals that state law was intended to protect. DOMA’s operation, Kennedy writes, “is directed to a class of persons that the laws of New York, and of 11 other States, have sought to protect.”

As a result, DOMA creates an inherent inequality between marriages within the same state. DOMA prohibited the federal government from recognizing state-legal same-sex marriages for purposes such as taxes and benefits. For states that had legalized same-sex marriage, that left an inherently unequal situation: Some marriages were eligible for certain federal benefits and tax rules, while others weren’t, despite being the same in the eyes of the state. As Kennedy puts it, DOMA “rejects the long-established  precept that the incidents, benefits, and obligations of marriage are uniform for all married couples within each State” (though they may vary between states). In the end, the law’s “principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and male them unequal”—thus “creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State.”

It’s not just that DOMA creates inequality between marriages within the same state. It also harms a class of people that the states intentionally set out to protect. The federal law, Kennedy writes, is used “to impose restrictions and disabilities” on individuals in same-sex marriages. But when New York legalized same-sex marriage, the state intended to “give lawful conduct a lawful status.” DOMA undermines that status, through intent and effect, Kennedy writes, by seeking “to injure the very class New York seeks to protect.”

DOMA was explicitly intended to disparage the legal practice of same sex marriage. Kennedy is quite blunt on this point. “The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law,” he writes, “are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.”

Disparagement of legal same-sex marriage wasn’t a side effect of DOMA. It was the whole point. The law’s text and enactment, Kennedy writes, “demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereigne power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.” Thanks to the law, “same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways.” They don’t get federal benefits, they have to follow a uniquely complicated procedure to file taxes, and they are even prohibited from being buried together in veteran’s cemeteries.

In other words, DOMA singles out a class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm—and there’s no good reason to justify doing so. The statute is invalid, “for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” 

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  • Enough About Palin||

    Butt it's so icky!

  • Killazontherun||

    “give lawful conduct a lawful status.”

    Applied to the 14th that's an interesting interpretation that it applies more broadly than just the categories enumerated, and I say from an originalist standpoint, given lawmakers in the late 1860s were among the most radical in our history, likely the correct one.

  • Killazontherun||

    That wasn't suppose to thread.

  • Jon Lester||

    Another reason, though not the primary one, why I now wish for the states to allow no-fault divorce for everyone. I've been on a jury for a contested divorce trial before, and I really don't want the odds of my repeating that experience to increase.

  • Matrix||

    Butt it's so icky!

    What you did there.... I see it.

  • Killazontherun||

    A major blow for the Clinton Administration. /Red Shrike

  • Loki||

    Not as big a "blow" for Clinton as Monica Lewinsky was.

  • Russell||

    It's settled then- Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of ickyness.

  • LynchPin1477||

    If only this were true.

  • MJGreen||

    But the gays, Pete. The gays.

  • A Serious Man||

    Having read Kennedy's opinion, I'm convinced that this was pure outcome based reasoning. He made all those points Peter summarized but without firmly getting behind any one theory.

    It’s just that DOMA creates inequality between marriages within the same state. It harms a class of people that the states set out to protect. The federal law, Kennedy writes, is used “to impose restrictions and disabilities” on individuals in same-sex marriages. But when New York legalized same-sex marriage, the state intended to “give lawful conduct a lawful status.” DOMA undermines that status, through intent and effect, Kennedy writes, by seeking “to injure the very class New York seeks to protect.”

    That is a very interesting statement because DOMA was created first. Has it ever happened before that a state passing a law resulted in Federal legislation being declared unconstitutional?

  • ||

    I don't see why the order of operations should be the pivot that decides the constituionality.

    If, tomorrow, the Feds passed a law that said they don't have to seat Half Robot/Half Human Congress people and 100 years from now a state passed a law legalizing this and elected one and that case went to the SC, why should the fact that there was a Fed law 100 YEARS before be the deciding factor?

  • A Serious Man||

    I'm not saying it does, I just can't, off the top of my head, think of a case where a state passing a law is used to strike down a Federal law. I find it interesting.

  • Xenocles||

    Well, when DOMA was passed there were no injured parties since nobody could obtain a same sex marriage anywhere. Without the ability to get one, there was no opportunity to experience discrimination from DOMA. Thus it was impossible to strike down the law before states permitted SSM because there would be nobody to bring a case.

  • IceTrey||

    Sure didn't work for marijuana laws.

  • SugarFree||

    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, one of US Catholic Church's strongest anti-gay marriage voices:

    "Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so... The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance."

    Sounds like someone needs to start paying taxes. Let's start them out at 25% and see where we want to go from there.

    Tragic. Tragic.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The bishop is guilty of Crimethink! Take away a fourth of his Church's property!

    "I have altered our agreement. Pray I do not alter it any further."

  • SugarFree||

    Tragic. Gay marriage is tragic. You guys covering up for priests fingerbanging choirboys was just an oversight or an error in judgment.

    The Catholic Church is a huge fan of gay sex, as long as it remains non-consensual.

  • ||

    How dare you want to tax an organization that has no rational reason for being tax-exempt! Next thing you'll be asking is why aren't you tax-exempt!

  • ||

    How dare you want to tax an organization.

    FTFY

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    On what grounds do you object to adult/child sex? Is it the sacrilege you object to? But you don't believe in sacrilege! Is it the position of trust between the Judas priests and their victims? But the same relationship exists between public-school pupils and their teachers, and not only are public schools given special tax treatment, they have much greater protection against lawsuits than "private" entitled like the Church.

    Is it that you think the public schools are serving a valuable public purpose, so they should be given some slack? I mean, we all know that the government schools do such a good job!

  • ||

    Hows about: children do not have contractual agency and therefore cannot consent to gaybutsecks with priests, and schools shouldn't be afforded any extra protections, either.

    Running low on straw yet?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There have been lots of public-school threads, but as a general rule, only when sexual abuse is the *subject* of the thread do commenters discuss sex abuse in the schools.

    When a public-school union official expresses dissent from some policy like charter schools, we don't get commenters jumping in and saying, "lol, what about the sex scandals, lol?"

    And this in a forum where sympathy with the public-school establishment is hard to find.

    So I guess in the public-school case, commenters are constrained by a sense of fairness even toward an institution they don't support?

  • ||

    Looks like somebody's a little defensive that his beloved church is known to be full of kiddy-diddlers!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So, you have no rational defense of the proposal to tax the Church at a 25% rate in retaliation for a bishop's stance on gay marriage?

    Bear in mind that another nonprofit group, the Reason Foundation, also has a view on gay marriage. The only difference between the RF and the Church is that that the Reason foundation supports, and the Church opposes, SSM.

    So the idea you are cool with is that nonprofits you disagree with should be subject to discriminatory taxation based on their views. Which is the very thing Lois Lerner took the Fifth Amendment about. At least she realized the seriousness of what she was doing.

  • Major Pain||

    Tax 'em both. Tax 'em all. Otherwise, I'm forced to be in the business of supporting things *for* them, and I object strenuously to that role.

    Someone wants to run an organization, fine. But they use all the same resources we do, and I see no reason whatsoever they should be exempt from paying for them, especially when that's just code speak for the rest of us have to pay more.

  • Xenocles||

    I wasn't aware that anyone had claimed that the sexual contact (straining for a neutral term here) between priests and children was consensual. As far as I can tell the bulk of it - if not all of it - was more like the PSU showers than Hot for Teacher.

  • SugarFree||

    It's good to see you defend child rape.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Even for you, this is lame.

    By describing priestly sex abuse as "sacrilege," and referring to the offenders as "Judas priests," I was in some way defending child rape?

    I might as well say, "gosh, sugarfree, why do you rape cuddly ducklings? That's gross!"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    (The difference is that you haven't specifically denounced duckling-rape)

  • SugarFree||

    You're the one that wanted to play "atheists have no basis for morals" game.

    Gay marriage is tragic and will destroy society! But raping little kids can be taken care of with a deep well of tax-free settlement money.

  • Tonio||

    Eddie, your tears are as yummy and sweet as the archbishops!

  • ||

    Giving official statements on political opinions despite your enjoying tax-exempt status specifically because you're supposedly non-political =/= thoughtcrime.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    This official of a nonprofit organization expressed a political opinion! What's more, instead of approving the Supreme Court decision - which would have been a noncontroversial, legitimate expression of opinion - he's voiced a view contrary to what the federal government deems true!

    Are you familiar with the Wilson administration's habit of revoking periodical mailing privileges from dissenting newspapers? (In those days, the postal system was kind of like the Internet in its importance to the communication of opinion). After all, why should dissenters get subsidies from the people for spreading their anti-state propaganda? Never mind that libertarians like H.L. Mencken protested against such activities, what did they know? Everything for the state, nothing against the state, nothing outside the state!

  • ||

    I guarantee you I'm at least as familiar with the various abuses of the Wilson administration as you are.

    You glossed over why it's non-profit: because it's supposed to be fucking nonpolitical. Which means no officially given political opinions, for or against a given gov't action.

    You're assuming, like a jackass, that 1) SF or myself would support the priest if he had given a different opinion, and 2) we support different treatment for public schools (given your earlier comment), neither of which are true. So kindly fuck right off.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't know what public school behavior you support, simply that you had the chance to comment on numerous public-school threads, and only where sex abuse was the actual topic of the thread did you comment on the abuse scandals.

    And the political rules re nonprofits are of two kind: (a) a ban on excessive lobbying, implying that a certain degree of lobbying is OK, and (b) Lyndon Baines' Johnson's ban on the endorsement of political candidates - and I suppose you're not a big fan of LBJ, right? Somehow, before LBJ the nonprofit sector managed OK without this ban, but after a nonprofit dared to criticized Johnson in Texas this law got passed.

  • Number 2||

    This opinion is a mess. Not only is it outcome based reasoning, but as Scalia points out there was not even a real controversy here, because the feds agreed with the plaintiff.

    Clearly the majority could not agree on a single theory so they threw up bits and pieces of several.

    DOMA should have been struck on federalism grounds alone but the four liberal justices could not bear to place limits on federal authority.

  • Killazontherun||

    When opinions come out with spacious, convoluted reasoning, that is the usual culprit. Statist gonna state.

  • Westmiller||

    Bingo! Hit it right on the head.

    The opinion is all about "ringing bells", Cloak of Authority, "animus", and vague agendas warping the law.

    Both cases could have been decided with a single sentence: "Prop 8 and DOMA violated the 14th Amendment and are vacated."

  • Number 2||

    Where, praytell, did you get the notion that "it's non-profit: because it's supposed to be fucking nonpolitical."

    Professional organizations and advocacy groups are non-profit but are most avowedly political.

    Even "nonpolitical" charitable organizations, which are barred from lobbying, are free to give "political opinions for or against a given gov't action."

  • HellsBells||

    I am automatically suspicious of anyone pairing govt. legislation and the well-being of our society.

  • Tonio||

    the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman

    The archbishop should go check his bible, specifically the references to the many, many wives that various old testament kings and prophets had. LOL

  • SugarFree||

    This is why you non-priests aren't supposed to be reading the Bible. You start getting funny ideas about the words meaning something other than how the Church interprets them.

  • ||

    Yes we certainly wouldn't want anyone to read and interpret things without the sanction of the Church, now would we?

  • Guy Laguy||

    Why just this morning 3 guys tried to gay-marry me.

  • Killazontherun||

    You should allow them to woo you with presents first, and then let them down gently once their accounts run dry.

  • Loki||

    Works for a lot of women.

  • ||

    Sounds like the voice of 'sperience....?

  • Killazontherun||

    Well . . . what's the harm in letting a guy buy you a drink and getting his hopes up. One drink and the thrill is not entirely muted by the let down, so you are still doing him a favor.

  • Paul.||

    Which three?

  • Russell||

    And government of the icky, by the icky, and for the icky shall perish from the Earth.

  • ||

    But it is intended to directly affect individuals who are engaged in legal unions—individuals that state law was intended to protect. DOMA’s operation, Kennedy writes, “is directed to a class of persons that the laws of New York, and of 11 other States, have sought to protect.”

    So will they be able to use this reasoning when they go after the feds for smoking dope in states that have legalized smoking dope?

  • ||

    “for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

    That's going to be part they'd have to overcome. Basically the court found that the only reason the law had for existing was gays=icky. There was no good reason to single them out. The Feds could make a better case as to why MJ smokers should be singled out. It's also a much much different situation.

  • Outlaw||

    Kommerce Claus will be by in a few minutes to give you a big "NO! BECAUSE FUCK YOU, THAT'S WHY!"

  • A Serious Man||

    So will they be able to use this reasoning when they go after the feds for smoking dope in states that have legalized smoking dope?

    No, because public health, the Commerce Clause, and the children.

  • ||

    Bah, it's always the commerce clause and the children.

  • Tman||

    I'm surprised that everyone seems to ignore the dissent so effortlessly.

    In the eariler thread I brought up the following about the dissent-

    The dissent is interesting not because Scalia or Thomas (or Sotomayor!) are "bigots" but because the lower courts granted Windsor her victory and "so cured her injury". Dissent was wondering why SCOTUS was addressing the issue at all. Scalia wrote ""True, says the majority, but judicial review must march on regardless, lest we “undermine the clear dictate of the separation-of-powers principle that when an Act of Congress is alleged to conflict with the Constitution, it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” That's not the job of SCOTUS, according to the dissent. "In other words, declaring the compatibility of state or federal laws with the Constitution is not only not the “primary role” of this Court, it is not a separate, free standing role at all. We perform that role incidentally—by accident, as it were—when that is necessary to resolve the dispute before us. Then, and only then, does it become ‘the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’"" Be careful celebrating this victory as it is not a power designed for the courts and can easily be used the wrong way.

  • ||

    In Germany their constitutional court does work that way. They can even review laws before they go into effect. I'm not entirely certain that would be a bad way to do things here.

  • Tman||

    Nah, I disagree.

    From Kennedy's dissent-

    "There is much irony in the Court’s approach to justiciability in this case. A prime purpose of justiciability is to ensure vigorous advocacy, yet the Court insists upon litigation conducted by state officials whose preference isto lose the case….

    In the end, what the Court fails to grasp or accept is thebasic premise of the initiative process. And it is this. The essence of democracy is that the right to make law rests inthe people and flows to the government, not the other way around. Freedom resides first in the people without need of a grant from government."

  • Brett L||

    Freedom resides first in the people without need of a grant from government."

    If only SCOTUS actually believed this.

  • ||

    uhhh Sotomayor dissented in Prop 8 because she felt that the court should be ruling on the merits of that case.

    She wasn't with Thomas or Scalia on the DOMA case...

  • Tman||

    True, I shouldn't have phrased it that way.

  • ||

    +1 Marbury vs. Madison

  • mr simple||

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    OT: What the fuck is wrong with ESPN? They're showing nonstop coverage of the Aaron Hernandez fiasco on ESPN and the soccer match they were supposed to show is on ESPNNews. Maybe they don't understand their own naming convention. Why are they acting like this is a big deal and pretending to be a 24hr news channel? Fucking just show sports!

  • ||

    Because not everyone gets ESPN news. The AH case is bigger than a soccer match no one cares about.

  • ||

    BREAKING NEWS:

    ESPN will be showing you soccer at the top of the hour!!!!!

  • mr simple||

    Because not everyone gets ESPN news

    That's why I'm complaining. I guarantee there are a lot more people interested in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup than in watching the live arraignment of AH. Since when is a football player getting in trouble with the law something worthy of nonstop coverage?

  • ||

    Since 1994?

  • SugarFree||

    PWN'D!

  • ||

    whoa, this isn't "getting in trouble," this is a murder charge.

    The last time we had something like this was Ray-Ray in the trunk.

  • LynchPin1477||

    1) I don't think anyone cares about some southern white racists and their silly soccer championship. The South lost the war, anyway.

    2) I think you vastly underestimate the public's appetite for both football and scandal, and especially football scandals.

    3) Expecting professionalism from ESPN is like expecting good laws from Congress.

  • Xenocles||

    Because fuck soccer, that's why.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Let us apply this analysis to a federal law specifically endorsed and approved by the Court in today's decision - the law that marriages between an American and a foreigner, legal under the laws of a particular state, may nevertheless be denied recognition by the federal immigration authorities by denying the foreign spouse the right to live in the U.S.:

    "[This law] has to be considered in the context of legal [citizen/foreigner] marriages in the states....

    "[The immigration law] was designed to affect people participating in legal marriages....

    As a result, [the immigration law] creates an inherent inequality between marriages within the same state. Some marriages by the state are recognized by the feds, and with some other marriages, the foreign partner is denied the rights of a spouse under federal law.

    "It’s just that [the immigration law] creates inequality between marriages within the same state. See above.

    "[The immigration law] was explicitly intended to disparage the legal practice of same sex marriage. Bingo.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    [cont.]

    "Disparagement of legal [citizen/foreigner] marriage wasn’t a side effect of [the immigration law]. It was the whole point.

    "In other words, DOMA singles out a class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm—and there’s no good reason to justify doing so. Bingo."

    So all this concern-trolling over federalism is just bunk. The Feds can still discriminate among valid, state-recognized marriages so long as the Supreme Court accepts the feds' agenda.

  • ||

    It's always been about finding a rational basis, nothing new here.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Is there a rational basis for discriminating against citizen/foreigner marriages?

  • ||

    The basis is that they don't want people to get married purely for immigration purposes. The reason they don't want that is to prevent such exceptions to become giant loopholes that allow people to sell marriages in order to enable people to enter the country.

    You don't have to like that, but it's a much more rational reason than the ones presented during oral arguments in support of DOMA.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You're still expressing radical distrust of the states - eg, that they will let people "sell marriages."

    If we distrust the states that much, why trust their ability to change the longstanding definition of marriage as involving opposite sexes? What about the risk of same-sex couples "sell[ing their] marriage?"

    If you reply that that's ridiculous, I reply that it's no more ridiculous than your hypothetical of selling marriages. Why not simply pass a law that citizen/foreigner marriages must be recognized by all the states, thus closing off the possibility of serial merriages to evade the immigration law? If an immigrant is stuck with their US citizen spouse, and vice versa, then the disruption of the immigration process would be fairly minimal.

  • ||

    What are you talking about? States absolutely allow you to sell marriages. Have you ever gotten a marriage license? There's very little in the way of questions asked, and very little that one has to prove.

  • SugarFree||

    Marriage is a sacred institution that has never been different than what it is today. And the government should interrogate and investigate every marriage to make sure that it conforms to rigorous standards for it to be legitimate.

    Because that's what libertarianism is all about.

  • ||

    Why not simply pass a law that citizen/foreigner marriages must be recognized by all the states

    Worst idea I've heard today. Also, VERY anti-federalist. You'd essentially be saying that states would have less incentive to change their marriage laws as they wouldn't be recognized by the Feds.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "DOMA singles out a class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm"

    Or does it single out a class of people to benefit?

  • Derek Balling||

    Why do people keep getting this wrong?

    SCOTUS *did not* overturn DOMA.

    They overturned Section 3 of DOMA.

    Section *2* of DOMA, equally vile waivers of the full faith and credit clause, remain in place.

  • ||

    One reason it remains in place is that it wasn't challenged.

  • Derek Balling||

    Oh I know why it remains in place, I'm just sick of ostensibly-ConLaw related blog postings, etc., all over the place making this out as "DOMA is Dead". It's not. DOMA Section 3 is dead.

  • Number 2||

    Those are the same people who are saying that the Voting Rights Act has been repealed.

  • ||

    If it does get overturned, expect first cousin marriages to be legal in all 50 states (NTTAWWT).

  • Killazontherun||

    So a genetic tree gets a little pruning, a little refinement, what's so wrong about that?

  • ||

    As long as people don't make it habitual (European royal family style) there's nothing wrong with the occasional one-off, child-bearing cousin-marriage.

  • Killazontherun||

    I think the rule of thumb should be that if your cousin is good looking chances are your cousin has not been unduly affected by previous pruning.

  • Brett L||

    Unless you think your cousin is good-looking because you both have the exact same face with the exact same cleft pallette.

  • Tman||

    It is pretty amazing how badly everyone is misinterpreting these decisions.

    All it does for me is further advance the argument that the government needs to get the hell out of determining whether or not marriage is to be regulated by the government or the constitution.

  • Lolo Stahko||

    Wow, the entire justification for judicial activism here is OMY GOD THEY MIGHT MAKE GAYS FEEL BAD! Any cosmotarian who supported this blatantly unconstitutional ruling shouldn't make origionalist arguments on other things, like Obamacare. They are living constitutionalists, plain and simple.

  • ||

    Did you actually read the article?

  • SugarFree||

    Reading is for faggots, Timmy.

  • ||

    That's why I read so much! I'd always wondered...

    Also, if cosmotarian is a thing, can I call myself a homotarian?

  • ||

    Already a thing

    Welcome to the club john.

  • Loki||

    I think it's usually a safe bet that anyone who uses the word "cosmotarian" in their post probably didn't read the article they're posting about, and even if they did they only understood the monosyllabic words.

  • Killazontherun||

    I made the argument from a originalist standpoint, and did so only the inferred standpoint of Kennedy.

    And from an originalist standpoint, I'm right. We are not talking about the founders here, but the lawmakers of the late 1860s who were a radical bunch, so much so, the Lincoln administration found them to be on the unsettling side. They were broad based egalitarians out to gut the mechanisms the founders put in place to restrain the federal government. I'm not a fan of the Claremont Institution but there interpretation of the Civil War as a second American Revolution is backed pretty substantially by their research into the era.

    After the 12th Amendment the Constitution is pretty much all vanilla sundae socialism.

  • Killazontherun||

    I made the argument from a originalist standpoint, and did so only from the inferred standpoint of Kennedy.

    Institution but there their interpretation

  • Number 2||

    "In other words, DOMA singles out a class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm—and there’s no good reason to justify doing so."

    And how is this different from the vast majority of laws that our Congress enacts????

  • Loki||

    All those other laws that single out a "class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm" aren't singling out one of the officially approved victim classes. They're usually singling out oppressor classes such as TEH RICH or some shit. Which is A-OK.

  • Tony||

    It should be noted that pretty much everyone on both sides of the aisle assumed DOMA to be unconstitutional when it was first proposed, but it was passed anyway for purely political reasons.

  • Paul.||

    Sucks when you let emotion drive your legislation.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    [Peers into the thread; walks away]

  • ||

    I'd really love to hear from John, EvH or anyone else complaining about today's ruling--what do you think of Loving v. Virginia?

    Was that case wrongly decided? If so, can you please point to the negative effects of that case? Could you point to those effects without invoking today's decision?

    If Loving wasn't wrongly decided, how is today's decision different?

  • Tman||

    I think in all cases I would argue that the government needs to stop regulating marriage period. Loving was a needed retaliation against the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which shouldn't have happened in the first place.

    I think the libertarians who disagree with todays decision about DOMA are more concerned with what they were talking about in the dissent, in that DOMA is beyond the scope of federal power, and asking SCOTUS to interject in to an issue where the plaintiff has already won her case in order to comment on the constitutionality of marriage is a dangerous precedent.

  • John||

    Because loving didn't stand for the proposition that the state could no longer decide what is and is not a valid marriage. It stood for the proposition that a person's color is not a valid basis on which to define what is and is not a legal marriage. Even after loving, the states were free to not recognize all kinds of marriages. Loving never stood for the proposition that everyone is entitled to marry whomever they want. If it did, Loving would have invalidated bigamy laws and laws against marrying your cousin. And it didn't.

    What the DOMA decision is about is about raising homosexuality to the level of a protected class. It is only like loving if you think being a homosexual is the same thing as being black and you think the state should have no power to ever discriminate against homosexuals for any reason whatsoever.

  • Mr. Soul||

    "What the DOMA decision is about is about raising homosexuality to the level of a protected class. It is only like loving if you think being a homosexual is the same thing as being black and you think the state should have no power to ever discriminate against homosexuals for any reason whatsoever."

    Agree entirely, but would add "discriminate" is failure to provide a special privilege. If you are a member of a protected class and someone won't do what you say, you are being discriminated against.

    Remember, to an elitist a position is not worth having if it is not counter-intuitive.

  • ||

    It is only like loving if you think being a homosexual is the same thing as being black and you think the state should have no power to ever discriminate against homosexuals for any reason whatsoever.

    ...yeah I do think that actually.

    You might want to tighten that mask, John, it be slippin'.

  • John||

    .yeah I do think that actually.

    That is great Tim. But the people who wrote the Constitution didn't see it that way. You might want to pull your head out of your ass and consider that maybe the document doesn't provide something just because you like it.

  • ||

    You're right John, the Constitution didn't see fit to give a lot of rights to Blacks and others.

    As has been pointed out to you CONSTANTLY, you.are.wrong in regards to your bullshit about what this case creates.

    "Without a good reason" means "discriminating against homosexuals" can never be a good reason.

    Discriminating against anyone for arbitrary reasons has never been held to be a good reason without a rational basis. The anti-SSM side has never been able to advance a rational basis beyond "ew, icky." The fact that the court held that his wasn't good enough does not mean that sexuality is a new class.

    Jesus Christ, you're as bad as the libs with the AA case, constantly seeing shit that isn't there.

  • John||

    Whatever causes you to sleep well there Tim. They have given lots of reasons. You just don't like them. And that is fine. You don't' have to like them. Where you go off the rails is you are okay with a small group of judges deciding that those reasons don't even count. That this issue is beyond the pale of public debate.

    Just admit it, you love rule by top men as long as said top men give you what you want.

  • ||

    Actually no, I prefer that all this get resolved in the legislature. I was excited when Ref 74 passed and when NY did their SSM.

    But thanks for looking into my soul and telling me how I feel. Go fuck yourself.

    The Federal Government has no business saying they will recognize some of a state's marriages and ignore others. THAT is what the court actually found today.

  • Tony||

    Are you a textualist or are you a medium? Neither the Due Process clause of the 5th amendment (relied up on in this decision) nor the Equal Protection clause of the 14th specify which types of people are covered or excluded. Romer specifically includes gays as a protected class.

    There is far more legal justification for the decision as-is than for, say, Scalia's bigoted whining we're supposed to take for an argument.

  • John||

    Sure they don't include which people you half wit. The government discriminates against people all of the time. The question is what is a valid basis for doing so. And there is no way an activity that was illegal at the time of the writing of the document is not a valid basis.

  • Tony||

    Yeah, sorry, but "tradition" is not a strong enough argument for maintaining a discriminatory regime. Strict scrutiny "tradition" ain't. I realize that's pretty much the basis for Scalia's blatantly bigoted dissents on this and in Lawrence, but it's just not good enough. By your exact rationale, Loving was wrongly decided.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm really trying to follow you reasoning on this, but as far as I can tell, it seems to be this: that because people discriminated against homosexuals at the time the 14th (or 5th) amendment was ratified, that we are Constitutionally obligated to continue discriminating against them, even though the Constitution says nothing about homosexuality, regardless of whether such discrimination is just or unjust. Is that right?

  • ||

    It is only like loving if you think being a homosexual is the same thing as being black and you think the state should have no power to ever discriminate against homosexuals for any reason whatsoever.

    Pretty much exactly how I feel.

  • John||

    See my response to Tim above. You guys think homosexuality is a right. And you are happy to let the courts invent the right and tell the country to go get fucked. In doing that you prove yourself to be no different than the worst SOCON or liberal. That is really the bottom line here.

    The next time you guys start whining about the courts raping the Constitution and the runaway federal government, forgive me while I laugh my ass off. Oh that is right, letting judges read the document as you want it is okay as long as your team does it.

  • Tony||

    Homosexuality is how some people are born. Just like blackness! The country is only fucked (or in defiance of the constitution, let's say) if it continues to treat people differently under the law solely because of how they were born.

  • John||

    Look Tony. You are the only person in this debate who has any integrity. At least you are honest. You are perfectly happy with rule by top men and the Court telling you what the document means. I am not even going to argue with you. The fact that the right isn't there and it was invented and imposed upon the country by our enlightened betters for our own good is a feature to you not a bug.

    But the rest of these clowns generally think such a philosophy is a bad idea. That is until it gives them something they want.

  • Tony||

    I take it you were outraged by the Voting Rights Act decision?

  • Calidissident||

    "Because loving didn't stand for the proposition that the state could no longer decide what is and is not a valid marriage"

    What the fuck are you talking about? That's not what the decision today said at all. It said that the feds can't refuse to recognize gay marriages of states that recognize gay marriage

  • John||

    It said that the feds can't refuse to recognize gay marriages of states that recognize gay marriage

    Which is another way of saying "homosexuality is not a valid reason to declare something against public policy". This is not a hard concept. Are you that fucking stupid or that bull headed and just won't stop and think? Or do you just love watching top men do what you want for once?

  • Calidissident||

    Where does the federal government have the power to refuse to recognize valid state marriages for any reason? Do you not believe the Tenth Amendment means anything John? Or do you just want to get your pony on this issue?

  • John||

    Where does the federal government have the power to refuse to recognize valid state marriages for any reason?

    The full faith and credit clause has always been read to be limited to only those things a state or feds do not find against their own public policy. Again, see my example about polygamy. If Utah declared it legal, the feds would be under no obligation to recognize the marriages. Well, that is until the Supreme Court decided they couldn't do it anymore. After this decision neither the states nor the feds have any power to define or govern marriage. They may do so. But to the extent they do will be because Justice Kennedy and the majority allow them. The day they decide polygamy is now a right, it will be one. No one else will get a vote.

  • Calidissident||

    First off, the full faith and credit clause says nothing about the federal government. That's not what I was talking about.

    "those things a state or feds do not find against their own public policy."

    Where in the Constitution do the feds have the power to have a public policy on marriage or homosexuality?

    "If Utah declared it legal, the feds would be under no obligation to recognize the marriages."

    Says you?

  • LynchPin1477||

    you think the state should have no power to ever discriminate against homosexuals for any reason whatsoever.

    Wait, how can a libertarian believe the state should have this power? Unless you think one person being homosexual somehow harms someone else?

  • John||

    Wait, how can a libertarian believe the state should have this power?

    Because should does not mean does. What I think it should have and what it does have are two different things. The fact is it does have that power by any reasonable reading of the Constitution. If you think it shouldn't, change the Constitution. But please don't get what you want by affirming the power of judges to make the document say whatever fits their current fashion.

  • Calidissident||

    You used the phrase "should have." So blame yourself for the confusion

  • LynchPin1477||

    The document says:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    I don't see anything that says "except for gay marriage". But if I missed that part, please point it out to me.

  • John||

    I don't see anything that says "except for gay marriage". But if I missed that part, please point it out to me.

    The state discriminates against people all of the time. That is the nature of laws. The issue is what is a legitimate basis to do so. Homosexuality was illegal until 40 years ago. So it is pretty clear it is a legitimate basis under the document as written.

    The equal protection clause does not mean the government can never discriminate. If you are going to comment on this stuff, try to have some fucking understanding of the Constitution.

  • LynchPin1477||

    1) It's not a legitimate basis for discrimination. It is a failure on the part of government to apply the document as written.

    2) You're right that the government can discriminate. It only should discriminate against people that have committed a crime.

    3) I think I have about as good an understanding of the Constitution as most commenters here. You are the one that seems to think that every law that was in effect at the time an amendment passed is by default Constitutional.

  • John||

    1) It's not a legitimate basis for discrimination. It is a failure on the part of government to apply the document as written.

    Why? Because you say so? You think it is improper. But a lot of people don't. How do we resolve that? Right now the way we resolve it is we allow five people on the Supreme Court to decide what is what is not valid with no regard to what the document says or what drafters intended. That is a problem. Just because they agreed with you this time doesn't mean they should have that power.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Because it goes against the plain text of the Constitution!! The Supreme Court has messed up plenty of times and will probably go on doing so for a while, but this was not one of those times.

  • GILMORE||

    It is only like loving if you think being a homosexual is the same thing as being black

    John. Black Homosexual Loving. Discuss.

  • John||

    He can't be discriminated against because of his race.

  • ChrisO||

    The two cases are almost inverse.

    Loving was about whether a state marriage law violated the U.S. Constitution.

    Windsor is about whether a federal benefits law that conflicts with a state marriage law violates the U.S. Constitution.

    John, the SCOTUS did not rule in this case that homosexuals are a protected class. It merely held that the federal government could not distinguish between individuals for purposes of marriage-related benefits when the state's own marriage laws do not, since marriage is a traditional state function.

    The real DOMA action will be down the road if/when the SCOTUS decides to take on Section 2, which waives the full faith and credit clause for states that do not want to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. It's at that point that the Court will have to come closer to deciding whether gays are a protected class.

  • John||

    John, the SCOTUS did not rule in this case that homosexuals are a protected class. It merely held that the federal government could not distinguish between individuals for purposes of marriage-related benefits when the state's own marriage laws do not, since marriage is a traditional state function.

    Which means it is a protected class you half wit. Read the fucking decision. "Without a good reason" means "discriminating against homosexuals" can never be a good reason.

    I am really going to enjoy watching SCOTUS fuck you people up the ass repeatedly with this precedent in the coming year. If it wasn't so tragic, it would be funny.

  • ||

    I disagree. In retrospect, this may be seen as one of the most libertarian rulings ever. Assuming the ruling is uniformly applied, it holds that the federal government can no longer arbitrarily favor one group over another in the provision of public benefits and programs. Lest John-logic takes hold, that does not mean that a libertarian supports the public benefits themselves, but the inability to discriminate removes the impetus behind some programs while upholding equal protections guaranteed by the Constitution.

  • John||

    Assuming the ruling is uniformly applied, it holds that the federal government can no longer arbitrarily favor one group over another in the provision of public benefits and programs.

    If it meant that. But that is not what it means. The court would never rule that. What it means in practice is that the government can only discriminate against groups the court is not willing ot protect. What groups are protected and what not are a function of the whims of the court. So now, homosexuals get protected but polygamists don't. That may or may not change. But whatever happens the change will be the result of the majority of the court deciding what it should be.

    What a great system that is. Nothing bad is ever going to come from that.

  • Calidissident||

    "Which means it is a protected class you half wit."

    No it doesn't. If we were talking about a state law it would. It means the federal government lacks the authority to refuse to recognize gay marriages that are valid at the state level.

  • Locke||

    Let's think about this John- as a libertarian, are you happy that the government doesn't get to fuck with the happiness of two people who do no harm to anyone else?

    I'll let that sink in. Piss and moan about the details all you want, but this ruling was on the side of liberty. It's in the same vein as the civil rights movement of the 60s. Denying people equal protection is unconstitutional.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    CouldCoz could DOMA have been considered a legitimate exercise of Congress's taxing power? A penal-tax for being gay?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Damn autocorrect.

  • John||

    In other words, DOMA singles out a class of people engaged in otherwise legal behavior for harm—and there’s no good reason to justify doing so.

    Since when is "we don't think marriage means two people of the same sex" not a "good reason"? Just because it is a debatable reason or a reason that a good number of people find bad doesn't mean it can never be used in making government policy. For example, I am engaged in the lawful activity of having a job. Because of my engagement in that activity, I can't collect welfare. The reason is that welfare is for poor people. That is fine, but I think that is a terrible reason. We would be better off with a negative income tax or a universal benefit program so that people can be helped but we avoid the negative incentive effects of welfare. Now, whether my reason or the "only poor people get welfare" reason is a good reason or not is up for debate. That is why we have a political process.

    To say that "we don't think marriage means gays" is not a good reason such that it can't be affirmed by the courts is to say that there is no logical or rational basis to the position. And that is just not true. Kennedy doesn't like the basis and wants gay marriage. So he used his power to enact that policy over the US Congress and the voters. Fuck you America. Justice Kennedy not you decides what is a good reason to do something.

    I wish all you all luck with that standard.

  • ||

    Is "we don't think marriage is between people of different races" a rational basis?

  • John||

    Sure it was. But that didn't matter because we had a whole slew of post civil war Constitutional Amendments that said it couldn't be.

    Homosexuality is not race. Stop comparing the two. If you want to make homosexuality like race, great. I don't think that is a bad idea at all. Lets go pass a Constitutional Amendment that says as much.

  • Locke||

    Homosexuality isn't a race, but it's a trait people are born with. Saying that you aren't to marry because you're gay is pretty much the same thing as saying you aren't able to marry because you're black.

    And really, who gives a flying fuck what the State says about who can marry whom? That's between the couple

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Saying that you aren't to marry because you're gay is pretty much the same thing as saying you aren't able to marry because you're black."

    It is saying that one cannot marry because one is gay, iit is saying that a same sex coupling does not qualify as a marriage as it is not functionally equivalent of an opposite sex coupling.

  • Major Pain||

    Neither is a marriage that is without sex, or one where one or both of the participants is sterile, or one where they effectively use birth control. Marriage isn't defined or limited by sexual function. It isn't defined by procreation, either. When you attempt to throw those up as barriers for gay marriage, you just look bewildered.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Marriage IS defined by sexual function at its base.

    That has always been the primary point--to bind the male to the female that produces it's children.

    Prior to that social structure was far more simian in nature.

    Children are impossible in a gay relationship, in order for there to be children a third individual is required. Therefore, a gay marriage must, to conform to the base concept, consist of three at a minimum. Which works with the original base which allowed for more than two.

    That other considerations have been added--and, please bear in mind that romantic marriage is an addition--doesn't alter that base.

    Childlessness was, until very recently, grounds for easy divorce or annulment.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I think the discriminatory aspect of the law is based on an understanding of sexual orientation being fixed categories. It pits straight versus gay.

    Working and poor are unfixed categories. People can move in between based on the vocational status. It's the same rational for giving loans and grants to students versus non-students.

  • John||

    think the discriminatory aspect of the law is based on an understanding of sexual orientation being fixed categories. It pits straight versus gay.

    That analogy only works if being "gay" is the same thing as being black. And no where has that ever been recognized in the law. We had this issue with blacks. The Constitution basically excluded blacks when it was originally drafted. It allowed slavery. So post civil war they went back and changed the Constitution to make it clear that race was a protected class.

    Homosexuality was a criminal class for most of the country's history. But now we are allowing it to become a protected class by judicial fiat. That may be a great result. You guys all love it. But in doing so you forfeit any credibility in claiming any interest in originalism or a limited Constitution. No you don't/. You are just like everyone else. You want to courts to torture the document to give you what you can't get via elections.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Wait, did I miss a step?

  • John||

    What is there to miss. Justice Kennedy just invented a right to gay marriage. You think that is great because you like the result.

    All you have is "I think being a homosexual is not something people should be able to discriminate against". Well that is great. Here is a fucking cookie. But since when do we decide what can and cannot be the basis of discrimination based on yours or Justice Kennedy's preferences?

  • ||

    Justice Kennedy just invented a right to gay marriage.

    No, he actually didn't.

    He said the Federal government has to accept what each individual state decides to present as a legal marriage.

    What this would set up down the road would be interesting in regards to any future state legalizing polygamy.

    But no, it didn't create a blanket precedent for all states to be forced to recognize SSM in the future.

    Stop shadow boxing, John, it's embarrassing.

  • John||

    He said the Federal government has to accept what each individual state decides to present as a legal marriage.

    And why did he say that? Because discriminating against gays can never be a good reason for a policy. Come on. You are not that dense. You want to support this decision, fine. But please stop pretending it is anything other than it is. Be like Tony and at least be honest.

  • Locke||

    And now due to this ruling we have SCOTUS setting a precedent that being gay IS like being black.

  • Major Pain||

    John vomits forth: "That analogy only works if being "gay" is the same thing as being black. And no where has that ever been recognized in the law."

    It's been recognized by SCIENCE, you moron. It's part of that thing we call REALITY. Making laws that reject reality is INSANITY.

  • ||

    "But when New York legalized same-sex marriage, the state intended to 'give lawful conduct a lawful status.'”

    If only New York and the fed gov used this same line of reasoning for health care, soda intake, drug intake, or anything else for that matter.

  • John||

    "But when New York legalized same-sex marriage, the state intended to 'give lawful conduct a lawful status.'”

    And that is complete horseshit. It is legal for me to have a polymorous relationship. I can shack up with three women if I can find the takers. That is totally legal. Just because I can't get married to them doesn't mean the activity doesn't have a lawful status. To say it does destroys the meaning of lawful status changing it from "not illegal to do" to "the government says you can and rewards you for it".

  • ||

    I agree with this, which is why the government shouldn't reward or sanction marriage at all.

  • John||

    Shouldn't and can't are two different terms. If you want to convince the body politic to stop recognizing all marriages, good luck. In doing so you would show a thousand times more integrity than the people on here who are content to let their robed overlords do their dirty work.

  • ||

    Wow, you're an asshole.

    PLENTY of people here would prefer that the state end its licensing of marriage. Pay attention.

  • ||

    Tim, meet John. I guess people didn't warn you about him in advance?

  • John||

    PLENTY of people here would prefer that the state end its licensing of marriage.

    Big fucking deal. They are also perfectly happy to see the Supreme Court invent rights that are not in the document as long as it gives them what they want. That is the point.

  • Locke||

    I fail to see how marriage is somehow a priviledge

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I would like to point out that a "true" Christian (read Scotsman) would be pleased with this decision. The ONLY legitimate Christian view on Marriage is that the Government should have no part of any of it. Heysus said "give unto Cesar that which is Cesar's but give unto the Lord that which is His." Not just taxes folks. Jesus was talking about the whole government at that time...do you think Rome gave two shits if some Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, FSM acolytes wanted to get married? NO. It wasn't Rome's problem. It was the religious institutions problem. The less the Essenes gave over to Rome in the way of stuff and authority the better. SO, if you love Jesus you support the libertarian view on marriage. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

  • John||

    That is nice and all. But the problem with this decision is not that it allows gay marriage. The problem with this decision is that it affirms the proposition that the meaning of the Constitution is whatever the judicial class says it is.

    Forty years ago there wasn't even a right to legally engage in homosexual activity. Now here we are and the Court just said homosexuality isn't even a valid reason for enacting a statute. Where did that come from? Who decided that? A few unelected judges decided that they liked it that way.

    If you think that is going to end well, I admire your optimism.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    180 years ago there wasn't even a codified legal recognition of marriage.

  • Calidissident||

    John do you think the Founders ever intended for the Feds to define marriage? Jesus did you actually read what the decision said or did you just fly into a blind rage when you found out that gay rights activists liked the decision?

  • John||

    John do you think the Founders ever intended for the Feds to define marriage?

    They absolutely intended the feds to be able to decide which marriages they would recognize for the purpose of federal benefits. And they absolutely considered homosexuality to be a valid reason to discriminate. Homosexuality is no longer a valid reason to discriminate because the majority of the Supreme Court decided it wasn't. That is called rule by top men. Stop pretending you don't like it when it works your way.

  • Calidissident||

    "They absolutely intended the feds to be able to decide which marriages they would recognize for the purpose of federal benefits."

    Funny, I don't see that in Article I, Section 8. (And, I'd say a majority of federal marriage benefits are unconstitutional themselves). But I guess Top SOCONS have those special glasses to read stuff that isn't there

    "That is called rule by top men. Stop pretending you don't like it when it works your way."

    Stop pretending to be a mind reader. You don't know shit about me or what I think. I think Section II of DOMA is constitutional, although I disagree with it. I think states do have the constitutional power to define marriage as between one man and one woman, even though I think they shouldn't. I also don't support the Feds usurping a power granted to the states under the Constitution. So don't tell me I just support whatever decision results in an outcome I like.

  • John||

    I don't write the laws, I just read them. But it has never been the case that the feds were obligated to recognize state marriages that were against public policy. The only issue is what is a valid basis for public policy.

  • Calidissident||

    Where in the Constitution are the feds given the power to have a public policy on marriage or homosexuality? Read that for me.

    And appealing to tradition is stupid. The Constitution has been violated since very soon after its passed and the Supreme Court has a long history of making bad court decisions that extend to that time period.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Forty years ago there wasn't even a right to legally engage in homosexual activity.

    Let me rephrase that for you. 40 years ago the state refused to recognize the right of people to engage in homosexual activity. Which was wrong. But you seem to think we need a Constitutional amendment every time we overturn an unjust law if said law was in effect when the Constitution or some amendment was written. Which is something I have never heard before, and find totally unpersuasive.

  • John||

    But you seem to think we need a Constitutional amendment every time we overturn an unjust law

    Yeah, now we are getting somewhere. You are figuring it out. Nowhere does the Constitution invalidate every unjust law. It restrains the government and sets up the parameters for what laws can and cannot be.

    You outed yourself as no better than the liberals. You think the Constitution doesn't really mean anything beyond "get rid of the laws I don't like."

  • Tony||

    DOMA is unconstitutional. Everyone knew it was unconstitutional when it was written. Everyone knew it would end up at the SC and this would be the outcome. If you want to fault anyone, fault the Christian conservatives who wasted the country's time on laws like this, thus ensuring the even more rapid inevitability of gay marriage recognition in the country as those laws are challenged in courts.

  • LynchPin1477||

    First, if I was no better than the liberals then I would think the Constitution is nothing more than a roadblock to passing the laws I do like. Second, "the parameters for what laws can and cannot be" are precisely what were used for deciding this case. I'm not going to keep repeating the reasons why.

  • GILMORE||

    Gay lawz are Gay

  • IceTrey||

    So if a SSM couple moves to a state that doesn't recognize it can the Feds stop recognizing it?

  • John||

    The feds ought to be able to recognize anything they want. If the feds decided tommorow that they were no longer going to recognize marriage to cousins which are legal in some states or say polygamous marriages if some state legalized them, they could do it.

    It is not that the feds have to recognize every marriage a state does. The full faith and credit clause doesn't mean that. The feds and the states are free to not recognize contracts and marriages from other states that they feel are against its public policy. So to say the feds and the states have to recognize a gay marriage from another state means that it is now illegal for a state or the feds not to recognize gay marriage. It makes homosexuality like race, i.e. something that is generally an impermissible basis for discrimination.

  • ||

    This is what happens when married first cousins move from one state where it's legal to one where it isn't.

  • John||

    The marriage is not recognized. It is considered against public policy. That is assuming that Justice Kennedy and the rest of the court thinks it is okay. They are the ones with the final word and control over all of this.

  • Tony||

    Full faith and credit was not addressed as it was not deemed to be a question before the court.

  • ChrisO||

    I actually side with Scalia's opinion. This whole proceeding was farce, since there wasn't an adversarial party. Congress sought to argue the case as an amicus curiae, but they could have only had standing had they sought to intervene as a party, which they did not.

    The DOJ did not oppose the plaintiff's case at any stage of the litigation. The case should have ended when the district court granted what amounts to a default judgment for the plaintiff. The appeals court should have dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court should have either denied certiorari or ruled the same as the Second Circuit.

  • Vjklander||

    Bob Barr, the former CongressCritter what wrote DOMA, officially apologized for writing it.

  • JasonTromm||

    So basically in both cases SCOTUS upheld states rights to define marriage. Now the LGBT community will have to fight the battle for same-sex marriage rights one state at a time. Am I wrong with that assessment?

    Seems to me this is also a victory for those who support the 10th Amendment.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law,” he writes, “are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.”

    A similar stigma to a boy who thinks he's a girl suffers from when told he cannot use the girl's bathroom.

  • Calidissident||

    Marriage is a human construct and ultimately just a term. It has different meanings to different people and has taken very different forms throughout human history. Comparing it to biology is stupid. The feds don't have the power to legally define marriage, the states do, and some states have a definition allowing two people of the same gender to get married. Get over it - and FWIW, I do support the government eliminating marriage licenses entirely, but if they're not going to do so, then I think letting gays marry is a better alternative than not letting them, and I don't think it's going to destroy the fabric of society or whatever bullshit SOCONS believe

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