On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court released its rulings on two important cases regarding same-sex marriage in the United States.
In Windsor v. United States, the high court struck down a key component of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by declaring that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.
And in rejecting a case involving California's prohibition of same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry), the justices left in place a lower court's decision that the ban is unconstitutional. California Governor Jerry Brown ordered same-sex marriages to resume as quickly as possible. On Saturday, June 30, 2013, opponents of gay marriage immediately filed an emergency appeal in a bid to halt same-sex weddings resuming in the state. The request was rejected by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
California now joins 12 other states* and the District of Columbia in the legal sanction of same-sex marriage.
The outcome of both cases will have impact on the proposed Los Angeles Lodge-sponsored resolution of the Support of Marriage Equality at the C.A.C.A. 52nd Biennial National Convention in Oakland this August. Nevertheless at this point, the language of the resolution has been published and posted and the final outcome of how the resolution is introduced will be determined at the convention.
The DOMA ruling also impacts immigration reform as the U.S. Supreme Court's overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act means that married same-sex couples are accorded the same federal benefits as their married different-sex counterparts, notably the right to sponsor same-sex partners for a green card. Previously many GOP supporters of the Senate-sponsored immigration reform bill threatened to bolt if LGBTQ couples were included. In the final bill that passed the U.S. Senate on June 27, GLBT bi-national couples were deliberately excluded. However, the repeal of DOMA grants married same-sex couples the same federal benefits as their married different-sex couples.
*Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota.