Today the Supreme Court said they would take the Prop 8 case and the Windsor DOMA Case! A decision will come this June one way or the other. This is an important day for civil rights and human rights in our country. This isn’t just about whether gay men and lesbians can legally marry their partners. But there are a host of issues entwined in these cases. In the Windsor DOMA Case, the Republican House members are defending the Defense of Marriage Act because the Administration agrees with the Federal Circuit Ruling that Section 3 of DOMA that prevents legally married same sex couples from inheritance without taxation is unconstitutional.
Our Speaker of the House decided with other House Republicans to fight to preserve DOMA. At the Supreme Court hearing on this is not only whether or not DOMA is constitutional or unconstitutional but also an issue of “standing”. This means whether or not the House Republicans can defend DOMA if the Executive Branch (i.e. the Justice Department is unwilling because they agree with the Federal Ruling that it is unconstitutional!
A similar issue is at stake in the California Prop 8 case. This is not only whether or not Prop 8 violates the equal protection clause since marriage was granted in California and then taken away by ballot initiative but who has the standing to bring the case. Again the governor and attorney general of the State of California agreed with the District court that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and violated the equal protection clause. Thus the case was appealed by various anti-marriage groups. The Supreme Court will also hear whether or not they have the standing to even be a part of the case.
So put on your seat belts. Get ready to witness one of the great Supreme Court cases in American history.
Keep working for equality on the ground and help more states pass marriage equality legislation and propositions. Hawaii and Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware, and Oregon are likely next targets. Anyone game for a trip Portland?