Same-sex marriage: Liberty restored
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 3:45 p.m.
The times they have a-changed. Witness two landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings issued Wednesday regarding same-sex marriage.
In one 5-4 ruling, the high court said a provision of 1996's federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “is unconstitutional as deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment,” which guarantees equal protection of the laws.
“The avowed purpose and practical effect of (DOMA) 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,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's swing vote, wrote for a majority joined by the court's liberals.
In a second 5-4 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by an odd union of conservatives and liberals, the court held that the private party that stepped in to defend California's gay marriage ban lacked standing. Thus, gay marriage once again is legal in The Golden State.
We agree with the Supreme Court's rulings. For, and particular to the DOMA case, those married in the 12 states (and District of Columbia) that recognize same-sex marriage no longer can be discriminated against for a host of federal benefits, privileges and rights enjoyed by heterosexual marrieds.
The thorny question now becomes — based on the same issues of “unquestioned authority by the States” versus federal equal protection of the law — if those states not now recognizing same-sex marriage — allowable under another provision of DOMA left intact by the court — ultimately will have to do so. The answer to that question surely will be addressed in the plethora of lawsuits to follow.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Thursday wrap
- On regulatory ‘autopilot’: Anchors on the economy
- Nelson Mandela: The real legacy
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: A special tinsel
- The Box
- Christmas in Connellsville: Catch the spirit
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- PSERS time bomb: Tick, tick, tick, tick ...
- Detroit’s bankruptcy: An object lesson
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances