Loading
Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, dismisses Prop 8
U.S. Supreme Court. Credit: Chris Phan (CC BY 2.0).
U.S. Supreme Court. Credit: Chris Phan (CC BY 2.0).
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the federal government must recognize “gay marriages” accepted by individual states.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act – known as DOMA – “violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority.

In a June 26 ruling, the Court said that section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes, violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees.

“The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question 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,” the court declared.

In a lengthy dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia rejected the majority’s assumption that the law had as its purpose to “disparage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean” and “humiliate” gay individuals.

Rather, he explained, DOMA “did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence – indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history.”

“It is one thing for a society to elect change,” he said, “it is another for a court of law to impose change” by pronouncing those who oppose “enemies of the human race.”

Those who oppose “gay marriage” have voiced concern about their ability to abide by their beliefs if marriage is redefined.

Already in states that recognize “gay marriage,” Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close for their insistence on placing children only with a married mother and father. Other non-profit agencies and private business owners have also faced pressure and mounting lawsuits to recognize same-sex unions as marriages against their religious convictions.

The majority opinion acknowledged that its ruling could have sweeping implications, as DOMA affects “over 1,000 federal statutes and the whole realm of federal regulations.”

On the same day, the nation’s high court also dismissed an appeal on California’s Proposition 8 on grounds of standing.

After a California court had ruled that “gay marriage” must be recognized in the state, marriage defenders launched a campaign to amend the state constitution to recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The amendment, Proposition 8, was approved by voters but quickly challenged in court. A lower court had ruled that the proposition was unconstitutional, and the case was appealed.

The Supreme Court’s dismissal on technical legal grounds rather than the merits of the case means that the lower court’s ruling stands, and “gay marriage” can be recognized in California.

Under the June 26 rulings, states may still choose to define marriage as they see fit. In states that choose to legalize “gay marriage,” the federal government must now recognize these unions. Currently, only 12 states and the District of Columbia recognize “gay marriage,” although marriage defenders have warned that political pressure is mounting in an attempt to force a redefinition of the institution.

Tags: Gay Marriage, DOMA, U.S. Supreme Court, Proposition 8

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
22

Liturgical Calendar

October 22, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Gospel
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3: 2-12
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Homily
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14