DOMA Goes Down in Defeat

Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority:

DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper.

DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others.

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.

This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is affirmed.

It is so ordered.

Now that the Defense of Marriage Act is dead and done, and Prop 8 is fallow, we also know the answer to the question I posed on May 2, 2013 — Did the Supreme Court Wait too Long to Stuff the Gays Back in the Closet? — “Yes!”

While I am overjoyed by those two decisions, I am still deeply disturbed by the court’s recent ruling on the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

The conservative majority on the Roberts Court issued another damaging and intellectually dishonest ruling on Tuesday. It eviscerated enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, in which Congress kept the promise of a vote for every citizen. But it did not rule on the constitutional validity of the idea that some places have such strong records of discrimination that they must seek federal approval before they may change their voting rules. Instead, the 5-to-4 ruling usurped Congress’s power and struck down the formula that it has repeatedly reauthorized to determine which states fall into that category.

Today in the USA, it’s better to be a sexual minority than a Racial one — and that, in every aspect and angle of yaw — is direct evidence that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are limited Rights in America and not available for all the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.