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DOMA Overturned

26 June 2013 — 17 years ago, the DOMA was signed into law in the United States. Initially introduced by Republicans in May 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by then US President Democrat Bill Clinton. Today the US Supreme Court struck down part of this Act as unconstitutional. Section 3 of this Act was found in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and states:


     (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

"Sec. 7. Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse'

     "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.".

[[Page 110 STAT. 2420]]

     (b) Clerical Amendment.— The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 6 the following new item:

"7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'.".

The Court ruled against the ban for gay marriage 5 to 4, with "Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia's dissent in whole and parts of Alito's opinion." With DOMA in place, gay couples — legally married by their home states — were prevented from receiving benefits that married couples receive under Federal law.

"By creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same state, DOMA forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal law,"
"DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects … and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples."

This decision paves the way for gay marriage, especially in California where there exists Prop 8, which states that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Indeed this decision by the US Supreme Courts paves the way for the rest of the planet, to question their stance on gender identities, and initiate change.

NBC News: Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act, paves way for gay marriage to resume in California

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