NEW YORK — A divided federal appeals court in Manhattan struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Thursday as unconstitutional, joining an appeals court in Boston in rejecting the law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case in the next year.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2-to-1 ruling only weeks after hearing arguments on a lower court judge's findings that the 1996 law was unconstitutional.
The majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs rejected a section of the law that says "marriage" only means a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and that the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.
The issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The decision came less than a month after the court heard arguments on Sept. 27.
Lawyer Paul Clement, who had argued in support of the law on behalf of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives, was traveling and did not immediately return a message for comment.
James Esseks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the ruling "a watershed moment in the legal movement for lesbian and gay rights."
"It's fabulous news for same-sex couples in New York and other states," he said.
Esseks said the 2nd Circuit went farther than the appeals court in Boston by saying that when the government discriminates against gay people, the courts will presume that the discrimination is unconstitutional.
In striking down the law, the Jacobs wrote that the law's "classification of same-sex spouses was not substantially related to an important government interest" and thus violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Read the rest here.
One step further, and a very welcome one at that. Between this action and the pending business of California Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, I'm wondering how much longer it will be before LGBT rights are no longer considered controversial but considered to be FACT.
End of tunnel ahead. Light there. Not oncoming train.
This is great news! I'm worried about what will happen in the Supreme Court though. On an unrelated note, I saw that House Republicans have spent 1.5 million dollars defending this terrible law since the administration chose not to do so. That's right; we are borrowing money from China to try and keep same-sex couples from having the right to visit each other in the hospital or file joint tax returns. What a joke the Republican party has become.
Me too! The Supreme Court is too far right for my taste. Maybe some ridicule can go there too. I wonder what Jefferson, Adams, or Franklin would be saying to them now?
I am really running out of patience with people who impose their delusions on others ... and just listen, there will be those that say I am imposing my thinking on others. well, they have it wrong. I am not at their cemeteries mocking them as they bury their loved ones. I am not in favor of arresting them, I am in favor or a concerted effort of people trying to protect mourners.
Reasoning doesn't work. Negotiating does no better. Compromise is out of the question.
Therefore, ridicule seems to be in order, don't you think? Or, do you have any other ideas? Silence is out of the question, that implies agreement.
I wouldn't just say "ridicule" but PUBLIC RIDICULE, bold, repeated and unrelenting. It is far past time that there was a penalty associated with being stupid ... and if the likes of Scalia and Thomas and Alito want to be stupid, too, I see no reason why they shouldn't be subjected to the same form of humiliation.
I've said this many times: if you want to be stupid, be prepared to pay the price for being stupid. It's time that price was paid.