In its first decision of the day, on June 26, 2013, in the case of United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) The vote was split 5-4.
DOMA's Section 3 defined marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of over 1,000 federal programs and benefits. The ruling means that same-sex marriages, conducted in states that allow it, are now recognized as legal by the federal government.
Supreme Court, in next gay marriage case, eyes federal law
DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty… [It is] unconstitutional as a deprivation of equal liberty of persons that is protected by 5th Amendment.
– Supreme Court dissenting opinion
Justice Antonin Scalia read a lengthy dissent from the bench, saying the court's opinion and jurisdiction "spring from the same diseased root: an exalted notion of the role of this court in American democratic society."
I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.
– President Barack Obama
Obama said he has instructed the attorney general and his cabinet to review federal statues so that the repeal of DOMA can be swiftly enacted.
The Pentagon said same-sex spouses of members of the military would be offered a range of federal benefits beginning in September. The Defense Dept. said it "remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally."
Same-sex marriage opponents petitioned California's Supreme Court July 12, 2013 to honor Prop. 8 -- the state's 2008 gay marriage ban. They said the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that the ban's backers had no "standing" in the case didn't reinstate lower court rulings invalidating the ban.
The first same-sex wedding since Proposition 8 was struck down took place at 4:45pm on June 28, 2013 in San Francisco. Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, were wed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris in San Francisco City Hall.
First gay marriages to be held in San Francisco, Los Angeles
Windsor, 83, filed the lawsuit challenging DOMA after her partner of 40 years, Thea Clara Spyer, died in 2009. The couple were married in Canada and when Spyer died, Windsor was left with a $350,000 tax bill she would not have to face if their marriage were recognized by the U.S.
The Obama administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Feb. 22, 2013, urging it to strike down DOMA. On Mar. 7, Bill Clinton wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post declaring that DOMA, which he signed as president, was unconstitutional and should be repealed.
BREAKING: Obama administration calls on Supreme Court to strike down DOMA - Poliglot
The lawyers who helped overturn California's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, have teamed up again to take up a new case in Virginia. The case involves a couple who were denied marriage licenses and a couple from California whose marriage is not recognized by Virginia.
AFER Joins Bostic v. Rainey, the Federal Constitutional Challenge to Virginia’s Discriminatory Marriage Amendment | American Foundation for Equal Rights
In light of the rulings, a group of 60 House lawmakers will introduce a bill to protect individuals and institutions who believe marriage is between "one man and one woman" from government discrimination. It does not seek to overturn the court decision, but rather protect tax-exempt statuses. So far, only 2 Democrats support the bill.
Congressman Raul Labrador : Press Releases : LABRADOR LEADS BIPARTISAN COALITION IN INTRODUCING MARRIAGE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT
The Supreme Court on Jan. 6, 2014, blocked same-sex marriages in Utah until a federal appeal in Denver has been resolved. In their order, the justices did not explain the reasoning behind this action. Utah had asked the court Dec. 31 to stay a Dec. 20 ruling that allowed same-sex couples to marry in the state.
Charles Cooper, the attorney who argued for California's ban on same-sex marriage, says his view on the issue are evolving. Cooper, who offered his remarks in a forthcoming book, has a stepdaughter who will marry another woman in June.
Prop 8 lawyer's views on gay marriage evolving - The Sacramento Bee