DOMA goes down

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision is long overdue

Shortly before the CN&R went to press on the morning of Wednesday, June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two much-anticipated rulings that are a decided victory for proponents of same-sex marriage. Numerous photographs of happy people celebrating this laudable turn of events were almost immediately splashed across the Internet.

By a vote of 5-4, the court ruled that a key portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denying federal benefits to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The high court also supported a lower court’s ruling that California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriages in the Golden State, was unconstitutional as well.

Thus, the federal government is now required to recognize gay marriages taking place in states where it is legal, and California is back in the ranks of those enlightened states.

In comments leading up to the decision about the constitutionality of DOMA, Chief Justice John Roberts questioned why the court was even in the position of having to weigh in on a subject he believed President Obama should have been braver about handling. “The Executive’s obligation to execute the law includes the obligation to execute the law consistent with the Constitution. And if he has made a determination that executing the law by enforcing the terms is unconstitutional, I don’t see why he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions and execute not only the statute, but do it consistent with his view of the Constitution, rather than saying, ‘Oh, we’ll wait till the Supreme Court tells us we have no choice,’” Roberts said.

We say thank goodness someone had the good sense to acknowledge that we are in the 21st century and act accordingly. It is high time that the right to marry the person one loves, regardless of sex, should be honored as a civil right in this country.