this morning, SCOTUS announced that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (ironically signed into law by bill clinton during his two-term presidency) is ‘unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the fifth amendment…DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a state entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.’
the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines ‘marriage,’ for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only.
today SCOTUS ruled by a vote of 5-4 that the law is unconstitutional . the court explained that the states have long had the responsibility of regulating and defining marriage, and some states have opted to allow same sex couples to marry – to give them the protection and dignity associated with marriage.
by denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them to express disapproval of state-sanctioned-same-sex marriage.
in other words, same-sex couples who are legally married will be entitled to equal treatment as married opposite-sex couples under federal law – with regard to, for example, income taxes and social security benefits.