The Supreme Court has struck down the Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5-4 decision. Section Three prohibits federal recognition of legally married same-sex couples and denies more than 1,000 benefits, such as Social Security, pension benefits and preferential tax treatment.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the four liberal Justices—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The opinion reads in part:
"DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. ... The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others."
Sections One and Two define marriage as between “one man and woman” and allow states not to recognize legally valid same-sex marriages from other states. Those provisions are not being challenged yet ... and are likely also to be struck down after today's decision.
Read the decision HERE.