SCOTUS, Same-Sex Marriage, and Admitting When I’m Wrong »« Godless Perverts Social Club — Tuesday July 2!

What the SCOTUS Ruling on DOMA and Prop 8 Means

Such good news to wake up to! DOMA has been (basically) overturned, Prop 8 has been (effectively) overturned! Same-sex marriage now recognized by the United States Federal government, and legal in California!

So what does this mean? It’s a somewhat legally complicated decision in some ways, and the “standing” issue is particularly tricky to parse. So here is my complex, nuanced, detailed analysis of the Supreme Court’s decisions today.

Here’s how this translates:

“Fuck you, religious right.

“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

“Other people’s love lives are none of your business. Other people’s sex lives are none of your business. You have your collective head entirely up your collective ass. The fact that you think other people’s loves lives and sex lives are any of your business, the fact that you think they hurt you in any way, is just pathetic and sad. It has nothing to do with you. And it’s a sign of just how twisted and small your lives are that you want to squelch other people’s lives and loves in order to preserve your own rigid, backwards ideas about gender. It’s a sign of just how twisted and small your lives are that you want to force your ideas of a petty, vengeful god obsessed with the details of people’s sex lives onto everyone around you. So try minding your own beeswax for a change. History is going to look back and see you for the short-sighted, cold-hearted, narrow-minded bigots that you are. This country is moving forward — this world is moving forward — and you are being left in the sad, sad dust. To choke.

And queer people — go party! Have an awesome Pride Day!”

Comments

  1. slc1 says

    Before we pop the champagne on the Prop. 8 decision, it should be noted that a number of legal beagles have opined that the question is still open as to whether the District Court’s decision applies statewide, only in Walker’s District, or only to the plaintiffs in the case. IMHO, the opposition will argue that it only applies to the plaintiffs in the case, falling back on only in Walker’s District when that fails. As Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over until it’s over.

  2. says

    The case made by Ms. Windsor’s lawyers is that the federal government was wrong to levy a massive estate tax because their inability to recognize her marriage was unconstitutional. DOMA’s Section 3, which prohibits the federal government from acknowledging same-sex marriages, was the ONLY issue brought up at trial, and so it was the ONLY issue that the Supreme Court could rule on. In other words, Section 2, which allows states to piss on the Full Faith and Credit clause with regards to same-sex marriage, is still in effect, and the matter of whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional remains unaddressed.

    However, the majority opinion stated that the sole purpose of DOMA was to punish same-sex couples, and that such punishment was inherently unconstitutional. This reasoning is now a matter of US common law and can be used in lower courts to strike down Section 2 and state bans. By the time these issues reach the Supreme Court, there will almost certainly be a slew of lower court rulings that the Supreme Court will not easily be able to put aside.

  3. jamessweet says

    However, the majority opinion stated that the sole purpose of DOMA was to punish same-sex couples, and that such punishment was inherently unconstitutional. This reasoning is now a matter of US common law and can be used in lower courts to strike down Section 2 and state bans. By the time these issues reach the Supreme Court, there will almost certainly be a slew of lower court rulings that the Supreme Court will not easily be able to put aside.

    Ironically, this is essentially the argument that Scalia made in part II of his dissent. He essentially calls out the majority’s strategy, and I think he is correct. The only difference is I think it’s a good thing, while he is frothing at the mouth :D

  4. jamessweet says

    FWIW, here is my summary after reading most of the DOMA ruling:

    Kennedy’s majority opinion: “The federal government cannot enact a law solely to demean a group that a State has sought to protect. That’s the obvious purpose of DOMA, so it dies.”

    Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “I agree with what Scalia and Alito wrote, but I don’t actually care that much and I just want to reiterate that this does NOT grant a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

    Scalia’s dissenting opinion, part 1: “ZOMG WHY ARE WE RULING ON THIS CASE?!? Judicial overreach, black-robed tyranny, blah blah blah.”

    Scalia’s dissention opinion, part 2: Interesting, actually — he essentially calls out the majority for a sneaky strategy, at to be honest I think he’s probably correct. They have explicitly stopped short of granting a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but they have packed the opinion with prose that could be cited by lower courts to uphold such a right. So by the time the court gets asked again to decide on marriage equality, there will be a slew of lower court rulings, citing Windsor, ruling that it is a constitutionally protected right. Scalia is very angry about this, as you might imagine.

    Alito’s dissenting opinion: The dissent you were expecting. A bunch of prattle about how nobody knows what the consequences of same-sex marriage will be, how every Abrahamic religion historically decries it, etc., etc. Boring, redundant, and of little interest.

  5. says

    I’m a math teacher and not a lawyer, so my opinion is worth no more than your average layman’s (or your non-average stupid attorney, of which there appear to be a plenitude). But here it is:

    DOMA’s demise results in federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in states (and DC) where those marriages are legal. This strongly implies the portability of that federal recognition of those marriages when couples move into jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is not statutorily available. That is, such rights as filing taxes as a married couple, Social Security survivor’s benefits, etc., etc. The anti-gay states will have difficulty dealing with marriages they’d prefer not to recognize, but our mobile society will gradually and inevitably permeate the states that balked at same-sex marriage. *Every one* of the fifty states will have same-sex married couples. This will create unremitting pressure to just grow up and recognize that same-sex marriage is here to stay. (Illinois, I believe you’re next.)

  6. says

    The interesting point in all of this, I think, is that it only narrowly passed; 5-4, I think it was? I would dearly love to hear the arguments against which were apparently used by 4/5 of the court!

  7. freemage says

    Zeno: As someone from Illinois, I’d just like to apologize for the fact that we weren’t ahead of the curve.

  8. A Hermit says

    This middle aged straight Canadian was almost in tears watching Edith Windsor on the news this morning; I’m a sucker for love story…

    And that;s what this is…love won a big victory today.

  9. says

    To me, “fuck you” sounds more like a blessing than a curse. Thus, I find it strange to use it as you have here. I find it even more strange for a sex-positive person to use the phrase in this way. Similarly for “it sucks”, which in my book is a compliment. :-)

    Since you now root for the pep squad rather than preach to the choir, maybe you can find better expressions for “fuck you” and “that sucks”.

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