SCOTUS and DOMA, etc


So the Supreme Court is hearing cases on California’s Proposition 8 (you know, the one that holds that the public are allowed to take away rights granted to people), and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. At stake is the future for same-sex marriage in this country. If the justices rule one way, we likely still have the current situation, with nothing really changing. If they rule the other way, we likely still have the current situation with nothing really changing. At least in the short run.

See, I don’t think this is going to be another Loving v Virginia case, or even another Lawrence v Texas. I expect that in the Prop 8 case, the court will make a very narrow ruling that applies only to California and says that the people can’t take away rights previously granted to a minority.

The DOMA case is a bit trickier. There’s no real Constitutional ground for DOMA. It’s 100% about discrimination and everyone knows it. I expect the court will overturn it, requiring that the federal government recognize gay marriages legally performed. I don’t expect that they will, at least at this point, take the next logical step and require that states recognize any legal marriage, even if they don’t perform those sorts of marriages themselves.

This case has been a long time coming, and sadly I’ve spent the last couple days buried under allergies, so I haven’t been able to pay as much attention as I’d like. Still, I think this is going to, in the short run, end up being a positive thing for gay marriage, and in the long run, it will set the stage for major, massive reforms.

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