Skip to comments.We’re Going to The Supreme Court! The Supreme Court Takes Review of DOMA and Prop 8!
Posted on 12/07/2012 8:19:12 PM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
This is it the Supreme Court marriage moment that the ACLU has been working towards for years. The Court announced today that it has granted review of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in Edie Windsors case. The Court also took review of Californias Prop 8, so the full range of marriage issues will now be before the high court. These cases are poised not just to take down DOMA and Prop 8, but to be the next building blocks for LGBT equality more broadly.
The Windsor and Perry rulings, expected in June 2013, will be a watershed moment if our side wins either one.
Heres why these cases are so important:
Ending explicit federal discrimination. DOMA requires the federal government to discriminate against married same-sex couples by treating them as legal strangers for purposes of all federal statutes and programs. There are approximately 120,000 married same-sex couples in the U.S. today, and DOMA treats all of them as single in each of the 1,100+ places in the federal code where being married makes a difference from eligibility for family medical leave, to social security survivors benefits, to access to health care for a spouse. Its the last explicit federal declaration that gay people are inferior, which is reason enough to get rid of it. Heightened scrutiny in the balance. The Windsor ruling from the federal appeals court announced an important new protection for LGB people heightened scrutiny by the courts. Under this standard, courts will presume that anti-gay discrimination by the government is unconstitutional and will require the government to have a good explanation for why it needs to treat us badly. Courts have usually applied a much less rigorous standard that often allows the government to discriminate against lesbians and gay men. While DOMA and Prop 8 should fail under any standard, if the Supreme Court adopts the heightened scrutiny standard, it would help eliminate anti-gay discrimination in many different contexts, from the workplace, to state parenting laws, to public schools across the country.
Showing the country that discrimination in marriage is wrong. Both Windsor and Perry make profound contributions to the publics understanding of the freedom to marry. Edies story resonates because her relationship with Thea exemplifies what many people think marriage is all about making a commitment to another person and sticking with it through difficult times. When two people make the commitment thats at the heart of marriage, its profoundly unfair for the government to treat them as though theyre not a family. The evidence presented at the Prop 8 trial helped the country see how baseless are the many anti-gay stereotypes that are at the core of our opponents arguments. And having prominent conservatives like Ted Olson champion this cause gets a big chunk of America to take another look. Once they do, many realize they dont really have a problem with same-sex couples tying the knot.
The two cases both involve marriage for gay couples, but they actually present quite distinct issues. Edie Windsor is already married she just wants to stop the federal government from treating her marriage different from everyone elses marriages. The plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, on the other hand, want to get married. Their case presents the marriage issue to the Court full-on Does Californias ban on marriage for same-sex couples violate the federal constitution? Our side could get a big win marriage in all 50 states or we could get a smaller win marriage in California. Either win would be spectacular progress for our movement. Im betting that the smaller win is more likely, but public opinion on this issue is changing so quickly that its becoming hard to predict what the Court will do in the end. The ACLU has filed supportive briefs in Perry all along, and weve been working for decades in courts, in legislatures, in ballot campaigns, and with the public to help get the country, and the court, ready for this moment.
As the Court moves forward, lets take a look back at Edies story.
Edie Windsor and Thea Spyers relationship is destined to be a classic among love affairs: The two New Yorkers became a couple in 1965 and had the courage to get engaged in 1967, when marriage for same-sex couples was just a fantasy. In 1977, Thea was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis, which gradually paralyzed her and ultimately left her unable to walk. Edie and Thea dealt together with the challenges of M.S. for the next 30-plus years.
The couple waited for years to be able to marry, and finally did so in 2007. In 2009, after 44 years together, Thea died.
Naturally Thea left her possessions, including the apartment they had shared for decades, to Edie. But while New York considered Edie and Thea married, DOMA required the federal government to treat them as legal strangers. So Edie was socked with a $363,000 federal estate tax bill that would have been $0 if she had been a straight widow. If you havent seen the video about Edie, take a look, its quite moving.
Heartbroken at the injustice, Edie challenged the constitutionality of DOMA. Two lower federal courts have struck down DOMA in her case, and now the Supreme Court will have the final word.
Were headed for another marriage moment in just six months. Edies case will be a central part of that moment, and hers has all the right stuff a compelling story, a perfect plaintiff, a top-notch legal team, and support from people across the country and around the globe. Importantly, Edies bravery and the strength of her love could change the reality for tens of thousands of same-sex couples.
We could not do this work alone, many thanks to our wonderful co-counsel in Edies case at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
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Nothing good can come of this.
Marriage is a term defined in the Bible. If the Supreme Court redefines it, woe are they.
I have continued directing the unpopular fight for the rights of agitation, as director of the American Civil Liberties Union. I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.You dont fight God and win.
Roger Nash Baldwin, ACLU founder
There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
A gay rights case. So Roberts needs need to recuse himself?
The fags meet the black-robed SCOTUS buffoons. Everybody already knows how this is going to turn out. I don’t understand why the fags are making such a big deal out of it. The fix is in for the sexual deviants.
As always with the Supreme’s, expect the worse and you won’t be disappointed.
If the SC tries to force fag marriage on every state, my interest in secession goes from a quirky tongue-in-cheek proposition to a pretty damned serious option. Better to see the whole country burn to the ground that succumb to this kind of deviancy.
I wonder how Elena Kagen will vote?
Yup, the floodgates are going to open even wider than they are now. Think of all that federal money poised to pour out to homosexuals, sister wives and bigamists.
If I went to Home Depot, bought a garden hose, brought it back home and discovered it had two male ends on it, I would take it back and demand a refund. Such is the case with marriage.
Justice Scalia has already said not to count on the court to uphold the Constitution. Nothing good will come of this. Hell, if recent decisions are any indicator, the court will rule we all must be homosexuals.
the pro-gay marriage crowd are simply superstitious unedumacated goobers when it comes to DNA
Depends on if she’s with the guys, or with the gals ~ on any particular day ~ of course!
They'll OK it, all right.
BUT... John Roberts will write such a diabolically clever opinion that the liberals will be suckered into thinking they won. Just as he did with the Obamacare decision.
Roberts can wear his finest dress to give the lefties what they want.
This one will be Kennedy. Every vote regarding LGBT and equal protection he has votes for. The ball has been rolling down the hill for sometime on this issue. Many republicans back this as well. The vote will be 6-3 and gay marriage will be the law of the land.
Social issues always win eventually over time. This is the latest.
My question is which one is next?
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