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Supreme Court Weighs in on Marriage Issues, By Kira Willig

June 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized


On June 26, 2013 United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in United States v. Windsor, the case dealing with the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act defines “marriage,” as a union between a man and a woman for purposes of more than one thousand federal laws and programs that confer benefits, rights, privileges and obligations on married individuals or couples.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayer, and Breyer that the law is unconstitutional.

The Court explained that each state is tasked to enact laws that regulate and define marriage for its citizens and that some states allow same-sex couples to marry to give them the protection and dignity associated with marriage. The Court ruled that by denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them by expressing disapproval of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s decision requires same-sex couples who are legally married to be treated the same under federal laws as married opposite-sex couples.


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