Six weeks after Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled twice in favor of same-sex marriage advocates Wednesday morning, stating the Defense of Marriage Act was in direct violation of the United States Constitution and ruling that California’s Proposition 8 case had been decided by lower courts, dismissing the appeal.
In a prepared statement to the media, Sen. Tammy Baldwin said:
“The historic decision on the federal DOMA paves way for couples to share in hundreds of benefits bestowed by federal tax codes to couples married in states that recognize same-sex marriage.”
The dismissal serves as a victory for so-called gay marriage advocates out west as it clears the way for same-sex couples to continue to marry in California, coming five years after that state passed an amendment to the state constitution not recognizing those unions
President Barack Obama, who aligned with the State Judicial Department to defend DOMA when he first took office, reversed course in 2011, asking the DOMA to stop taking on cases challenging the act.
Today, the president said, he was in favor of the SCOTUS decision.
"When all Americans are treated as equal—no matter who they are or whom they love—we are all more free,” Obama stated via social media.
The Twin Cities GLBT population will celebrate the decisions –both that of the Supreme Court and this year’s legislation in Minnesota – this weekend in Minneapolis with Gay Pride weekend.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:
“By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
He was joined in the majority by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“The debate over marriage equality is about fairness – about whether gay and lesbian Americans deserve to be treated just like their family members, their friends, and their neighbors. It’s about opportunity – about whether every American gets to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success. And it’s about freedom –the freedom to love, the freedom to commit, the freedom to build a family,” Baldwin wrote. “Most of all, it’s about whether the progress our country has made will be reflected in our laws.”