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Supreme Court On Gay Marriage: Prop 8, DOMA To Receive Hearings

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    der Hexer longtime WWP Member (derhexer@aol.com) URL to an interesting article in Huff Post Politics
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2012
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      der Hexer longtime WWP Member (derhexer@...) URL to an interesting article in Huff Post Politics

      Maybe we'll finally get some sanity on this gay marriage issue.


      (I reject your reality and substitute my own)

      The AP _reports_
      (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121207/us-supreme-court-gay-marriage/) :
      WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will take up California's ban on same-sex
      marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether
      gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

      The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling
      that struck down the state's gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The
      San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the
      same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California's Supreme Court.

      The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay
      couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A
      provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and
      pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual
      The cases probably will be argued in March, with decisions expected by late
      Gay marriage is legal, or will be soon, in nine states – Connecticut, Iowa,
      Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont,
      Washington – and the District of Columbia. Federal courts in California have struck
      down the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but that ruling
      has not taken effect while the issue is being appealed.
      Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved gay marriage earlier this
      But 31 states have amended their constitutions to prohibit same-sex
      marriage. North Carolina was the most recent example in May. In Minnesota earlier
      this month, voters defeated a proposal to enshrine a ban on gay marriage
      in that state's constitution.
      The biggest potential issue before the justices comes in the dispute over
      California's Proposition 8, the state constitutional ban on gay marriage
      that voters adopted in 2008 after the state Supreme Court ruled that gay
      Californians could marry. The case could allow the justices to decide whether
      the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection means that the right
      to marriage cannot be limited to heterosexuals.
      A decision in favor of gay marriage could set a national rule and overturn
      every state constitutional provision and law banning same-sex marriages. A
      ruling that upheld California's ban would be a setback for gay marriage
      proponents in the nation's largest state, although it would leave open the
      state-by-state effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry.
      In striking down Proposition 8, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
      crafted a narrow ruling that said because gay Californians already had been
      given the right to marry, the state could not later take it away. The ruling
      studiously avoided any sweeping pronouncements.
      The larger constitutional issue almost certainly will be presented to the
      court, but the justices would not necessarily have to rule on it.
      The other issue the high court will take on involves a provision of the
      Defense of Marriage Act, known by its acronym DOMA, which defines marriage as
      between a man and a woman for the purpose of deciding who can receive a
      range of federal benefits.
      Four federal district courts and two appeals courts struck down the
      The justices chose for their review the case of 83-year-old Edith Windsor,
      who sued to challenge a $363,000 federal estate tax bill after her partner
      of 44 years died in 2009.
      Windsor, who goes by Edie, married Thea Spyer in 2007 after doctors told
      them that Spyer would not live much longer. She suffered from multiple
      sclerosis for many years. Spyer left everything she had to Windsor.
      There is no dispute that if Windsor had been married to a man, her estate
      tax bill would have been $0.
      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed with a district
      judge that the provision of DOMA deprived Windsor of the constitutional
      guarantee of equal protection."
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