US Supreme Court gives major boost to gay marriage
'They got it wrong,' say bishops
In a pair of eagerly awaited rulings, the US Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and declined to hear an appeal in a case involving a voter initiative in California, handing two victories to supporters of same-sex unions.
In a hotly contested 5-4 decision in the case of United States v. Windsor, the Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), approved by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton, violated the constitution insofar as it denied federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their own states. The Court left standing a provision of DOMA that said no state is obligated to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in another state.
Writing for the majority in Windsor, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that the marriage laws are controlled by the states, and the federal government cannot deny benefits to people who are legally married under state law. “The federal statute is invalid,” he wrote, “for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”
In an angrily worded minority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said that the majority opinion suggested that anyone opposing same-sex marriage intends “to condemn, demean, or humiliate” others. “To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution,” he wrote.
Speaking for the US bishops’ conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone—the president of the episcopal conference and chairman of the bishops’ committee on marriage, respectively—said that the court “got it wrong.” The decision in Windsor, they said, “has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act."
Maids deserve to have same labor rights as ordinary employees, activists say
Candidates make clean election vow in front of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
Workers protest outside the prime minister's palace to demand fair wages
Son of late dictator Marcos picks up support from key pro-life, charismatic groups
Amid hardliners opposition, the new government shows few signs of changing apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine State
NEW! Premium ContentGet full access. Start your 14-day free trial today.
NEW! Premium ContentThank you for registering! Your 14-Day Free Trial begins today.Here is your login details to access Premium Content:
NEW! Premium ContentOops! That email address has already been registered. Please try again.