Saturday, December 8, 2012

DOMA / Prop 8 Challenge

The US Supreme Court has decided to accept a challenge to determine the Constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prohibits the Federal Government from recognizing any marriage but the marriage between one man and one woman. Until now it has been a State by State issue to allow marriage equality. A favorable ruling will allow the US Federal Government to decide the issue for the whole country and would be a huge victory for human rights.

They will also decide on the final disposition of California's Prop 8 which took away the right to equal marriage in that State. It narrowly passed (bad thing) after huge injections of cash by the Mormon Church who fought for it's passage. It was then blocked as being unconstitutional by the California courts but as part of this ruling all same sex marriages in California were put on hold until a final outcome could be reached.

The case they will decide on the DOMA issue is that of two legally married New York women who have been together for almost fifty years. One of them recently passed, leaving everything to her surviving spouse. The courts, relying on DOMA, decided the surviving spouse had to pay $363,000 estate tax on her inheritance, something she would not have to do if her spouse was a man. This is a clear case of discrimination and a violation of her rights. It should be a "slam dunk"! The decision should be rendered in June, 2013.

"When Thea and I met nearly 50 years ago, we never could have dreamed that the story of our life together would be before the Supreme Court as an example of why gay married couples should be treated equally, and not like second-class citizens. While Thea is no longer alive, I know how proud she would have been to see this day. The truth is, I never expected any less from my country." - DOMA litigant Edith Windsor, 83, responding to yesterday's decision by the Supreme Court.


  1. How come when it comes to human rights, it's always a church opposing it?

  2. Good question. One of the reasons I choose not to attend.

  3. The time has come for the Supreme Court to give equal protection to all citizens.

  4. I wouldn't count on anything from the majority on this Supreme Court. It's going to be an interesting couple of decisions.