In only a few hours, on Thursday morning, June 20th, 2013 we expect to hear the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court will decide whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State; whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III standing in this case.”
If Section 3 of the DOMA is struck down, it will pave the way for thousands of federal benefits that are currently available to opposite sex couples to be equally available to same-sex couples who are legally married. The Windsor ruling will not affect whether or not all gay couples have a right to marry.
One federal benefit that is currently denied to same-sex couples is the ability of a U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to sponsor their spouses for immigrant visas (greencards). We anxiously await a decision that may provide this benefit to same-sex couples and unite families who have been unjustly denied the ability to live in the same country as their spouse.
06/21/2013 UPDATE: The Supreme Court did not issue their decision in U.S. v. Windsor yesterday. Maybe next week!
06/26/2013 UPDATE: DOMA ruled UNCONSTIUTIONAL!!!
“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state- sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency. Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person.
This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, see Lawrence, 539 U. S. 558, and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” – Justice Kennedy