Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, overturn of Prop. 8 upheld
Jun 26, 2013, 10:23am EDT Updated: Jun 26, 2013, 11:23am EDT ~ Kent Hoover
The U.S. Supreme Court today gave same-sex marriage supporters a pair of victories, starting with the ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.The court also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. It left a lower-court ruling overturning Proposition 8 — a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage — stand, but it declined to rule on the broader question of whether gay couples have a Constitutional right to marry.The 5-4 ruling on the DOMA case means same-sex couples who are married are entitled to the same benefits under federal as heterosexual couples. Previously, the federal law denied federal benefits, such as filing joint tax returns and receiving Social Security survivor benefits, to same-sex couples who marry in states where gay marriage is legal. “DOMA’s unconstitutional – we’re all Americans today,” said Ben Takai, a Washington, D.C., resident who was among the hundreds of people gathered outside the court waiting for the rulings. California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, was passed by voters in 2008 in response to a state Supreme Court decision that had legalized same-sex marriage. Two gay couples then filed a lawsuit, contending Proposition 8 denied them their 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law.