Among the reactions to the announcement Friday that the Supreme Court would consider a pair of laws related to same-sex marriage, supporters of marriage equality say they believe even the conservative high court will uphold their views.
The Supreme Court will will consider a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and review the lower federal court ruling which overturned California’s Proposition 8, with a ruling expected in June 2013. Enacted in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, DOMA is a federal law allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. It also prevents married same-sex spouses from receiving federal benefits that heterosexual spouses receive, such as Social Security. Proposition 8 is a state-level measure in California which overturned that state’s court decision to allow same-sex marriages.
“I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which has served to create a tier of second-class marriages in this Nation and in the state of Vermont. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will recognize the discriminatory and damaging impact that DOMA has had on thousands of individuals and families across the country,” says Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “All couples who are lawfully married under state law, including in Vermont, should be entitled to the same Federal protections afforded to all other married couples. The Court has an opportunity to uphold the values upon which America was founded by finding that DOMA is inconsistent with this Nation’s march toward equality. I hope this Court will do so.”
Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president of External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think tank, believes conservative justices will support same-sex marriage.
“For the last several months, we have watched court after court recognize a basic truth: Our Constitution guarantees all people the ‘equal protection of the laws,’ and that includes loving same-sex couples. Today the Supreme Court announced that it will be the next Court to consider whether the Constitution means what it says,” she says in a statement released Friday. “We are confident that the justices will recognize what some of the most conservative judges in the country have already acknowledged: Discriminating against same-sex couples is unconstitutional and must end immediately.”