TVBizwire

Breaking National News: Supreme Court Declares Federal Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional; Two Key Decisions Back Same-Sex Marriage LA Times

"The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The story continues, "The decision is a landmark win for the gay rights movement. It voids a section of the law known as DOMA, which was adopted with bipartisan support in Congress in 1996 to deny all benefits and recognition to same-sex couples. At that time, no state permitted gays and lesbians to marry. Now, 12 states and the District of Columbia authorize same-sex marriages."

In a separate decision today, another report in the Los Angeles Times says, "The Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for same-sex marriages to resume in California as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8.

"Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said the private sponsors of Prop. 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco."

This report also says, "Last fall, the high court agreed to hear a last-chance appeal from the sponsors of [Proposition 8] the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

"Federal courts in San Francisco had struck down the measure on the grounds that it unfairly discriminated against gays and lesbians who wished to marry.

"Usually, the governor and state’s lawyers defend state laws in federal court, but both Gov. Jerry Brown and Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris refused to defend Prop. 8. Several sponsors of the ballot measure stepped in to defend the law, but there were questions about whether they had legal standing to represent the state in court."

The Supreme Court today ruled that they did not have that legal standing.