Should Same-Sex Marriage be a Constitutional Right?
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How do you feel about the Supreme Court’s decision in relation to gay marriage?
The Supreme Court issued rulings on two highly-anticipated cases on gay marriage this week. It was the latest round in a heartfelt culture war and a historic victory for gay rights. The Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA) which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.
In a separate ruling, it did not take on the broader issue of gay marriage but decided that supporters of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure that had outlawed same-sex marriages in California, did not have standing to bring the case to the court. KQED’s The Lowdown traces the history of Prop 8 with an interactive timeline.
This decision means that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the same federal benefits as married opposite sex couples; that is to the numerous federal regulations relating to benefits, Social Security, housing, taxes, estate taxes, veterans benefits etc. Attorney General Eric Holder said the court’s decision on DOMA is an “enormous triumph for equal protection under the law for all Americans.”
Wednesday’s rulings extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal, adding California to the list of 12 states that recognize same sex unions. That will mean about 30 percent of Americans live in states recognizing same-sex marriage. But then “For a full civil liberties victory, we need broad-based support from coast to coast,” the ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero, said. The issue here could be that benefits may only be claimed in the states that recognize same sex marriages. So traveling or living out of states where benefits can be claimed may be a problem.
There are those who were deeply troubled by the Supreme Court rulings. Scott Shafer outlines on KQED News Fix what’s at stake for supporters of Prop 8.
“To the sponsors of Prop. 8, like Protect Marriage.com attorney Andrew Pugno, California voters had a good reason for limiting marriage to one man and one woman. ‘We’d be in a very different world if a small minority can choose a new lifestyle,’ Pugno said, ‘and then insist on a constitutional right to have government uphold that choice as an ideal.’ In briefs filed with the Supreme Court, Pugno’s legal team argues the rationale for Prop. 8 is that marriage is the institution that links biological parents with their children. ‘And if the parents are not encouraged to bind themselves together for the benefit of the children,’ he said, ‘then ultimately it’s the children that suffer.'”
“The debate over marriage has only just begun,” said Austin Nimocks in a recent article in SF Gate, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group. Meanwhile California Attorney General Kamala Harris rushed down to City Hall to perform the first marriage. Wedding bells will be ringing this week.
KQEQ Forum Supreme Court Clears the Way for Same-Sex Marriage in California – June 26, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court issued two long-awaited decisions today, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, and ruling that Proposition 8 supporters did not have standing to bring the case, thus clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California. We talk about how the Justices ruled, and what these watershed decisions mean for the state.
To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowMarry
For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.
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PBS NewsHour video How Does Court’s Decisions on Gay Marriage Impact State and U.S. Law? – June 26, 2013
What are the legal implications of the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8? Jeffrey Brown gets two views on the impact of the court’s rulings from Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defending Freedom and Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
KQED News post Same-Sex Marriage in California: Decoding the Prop. 8 and DOMA Rulings and What’s Next – June 26, 2013
After years of waiting, we finally have two U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the legality of same-sex marriage. But neither ruling was the type of clear-cut decision that advocates on both sides of the issue were hoping for. KQED spoke to several experts about the details of the cases and how this could all play out.
KQED The Lowdown post How California’s Prop. 8 Clawed its Way Up to the Supreme Court – June 24, 2013
All eyes are on the Supreme Court this week as it prepares to announce a decision in the landmark Proposition 8 case, on the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban. So how did the Prop. 8 case get all the way from California to the U.S. Supreme Court? Scroll through this interactive to trace the path.
PBS NewsHour Extra post Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gay Rights – June 28, 2013
Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court issued two rulings on the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage. In a victory for gay rights activists, the Supreme Court extended benefits to legally married gay couples, but did not rule on the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.