NEWSFLASH: Victories for Same-Sex Marriage in Supreme Court!


Thank you, activists and lawyers and longtime supporters of same-sex marriage.

Thank you, Edie Windsor, for having the chutzpah to take your case to the Supreme Court.

And thank you, Justice Anthony Kennedy, for being just the swing vote needed to allow a 5-4 ruling that declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional today. As you wrote in your majority opinion,

The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Thank you, too, to the plaintiffs and lawyers and politicians (Gavin Newsom!) and other supporters of same-sex marriage in California who fought the good fight that led today to the Supreme Court declaring that supporters of Proposition 8–which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state–had no standing to argue for it. (That decision, also 5-4, was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.) And, therefore, according to the SCOTUS blog, “The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal challenging a final order from the trial court. It would appear, then, that the order will go into effect. And it appears that this final order purports to prohibit the Attorney General and the Governor from enforcing Prop. 8.”

Much more analysis to come on these momentous decisions!

Photo from Flickr user Mark Fischer under license from Creative Commons 2.0


Michele Kort is senior editor of Ms. She is the author of Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro and coeditor (with Audrey Bilger) of Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage.