U.S. Supreme Court: DOMA is unconstitutional

By (@abbydphillip) and (@Arianedevogue)

June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court
has ruled that a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),
which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, is
unconstitutional. GTY_gay_rights_ml_130626_16x9_992 Justice Anthony Kennedy
wrote the opinion for the court striking down section 3 of DOMA in
a 5-4 decision. “DOMA violates basic due process and equal
protection principles applicable to the federal government,”
Kennedy said. “Under DOMA same-sex married couples have their lives
burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public
ways.” “By its great reach DOMA touches many aspects of married
life from the mundane to the profound,” he added. The case involved
a challenge to the 1996 law that passed with wide majorities and
that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It denies
federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in
their states. Crowds outside the Supreme Court could be heard
erupting in applause as news of the court’s ruling spread. The
Supreme Court will hand down rulings today in two
highly-anticipated gay marriage cases, one that challenges
Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defines
marriage as between one man and one woman, and another that
challenged a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that
denies federal benefits to same-sex couples. Read ABC
News’ live blog of the Supreme Court’s decisions HERE.