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US Supreme Court: High Court Allows California Gay Marriage, Voids U.S. Law

WOW!  At last!  Now all groups are protected equally (ok soon) under the law.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court gave a landmark victory to the gay-rights movement, striking down a federal law that denies benefits to same-sex married couples and clearing the way for weddings to resume in California.

Plaintiff couples Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, left, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, right, arrive at the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage

 
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June 26 (Bloomberg) — A divided U.S. Supreme Court gave a victory to the gay-rights movement, striking down a federal law that denies benefits to same-sex married couples and clearing the way for weddings to resume in California. The court stopped short of declaring constitutional right for gays to marry, or even ruling directly on California’s voter-approved ban. Greg Stohr reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

California Prop 8 Supporters Speak After Ruling

 
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June 26 (Bloomberg) — The Alliance Defending Freedom’s Austin Nimocks, and ProtectMarriage.com’s Andrew Pugno and Ron Prentice speak about the Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriage. With a 5-4 procedural ruling, the court reinstated a trial judge’s order allowing at least some gay marriages there. Nimocks, Pugno and Prentice speak outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (Source: Bloomberg)

Prop 8 Ruling Opens Up Future, Gay Couples Say

 
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June 26 (Bloomberg) — Same-sex couples Lisa Dazols and Jennifer Chang, and Daniel Tabib and Zachary Fox, talk with Bloomberg’s Alison Vekshin in San Francisco’s City Hall talk about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 8 and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The Supreme Court reinstated a trial judge’s order throwing out Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment approved by California voters in 2008 limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. The court also overturned the 1996 U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, which barred the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. (Source: Bloomberg)

Boies on Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

 
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June 26 (Bloomberg) — Attorney David Boies, members of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and other plaintiffs talk with reporters about the U.S. Supreme Court decisions striking down a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex married couples and clearing the way for weddings to resume in California. (Source: Bloomberg)

Elana Kessler, left, and Hannah Greenberg, right, on the steps of the Supreme Court while learning of favorable rulings issued by the court on same sex marriage cases June 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Gay rights activist Bryce Romero, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, offers an enthusiastic high-five in Washington on June 26, 2013. Photographer: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Same-sex couple Mark Guzman, right, and Scott Coatsworth, left, embrace during a rally in support of marriage equality in San Francisco. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Opponents of Proposition 8, California’s anti-gay marriage bill, demonstrate outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 7, 2012 in San Francisco. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The court stopped short of declaring a constitutional right for gays to marry, or even ruling directly on California’s voter-approved ban, as the justices considered the issue for the first time. California Governor Jerry Brown said counties will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses as soon as an appeals court implements today’s ruling.

The decisions sustain the momentum that has grown behind same-sex marriage over the past decade. With a 5-4 procedural ruling in the California case, the court reinstated a judge’s order allowing gay marriages there. By striking down the core of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act by a different 5-4 majority, the court rejected many of the justifications for treating same-sex and heterosexual couples differently.

Graphic: Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Marriage Law

That law “places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage,” Justice Anthony Kennedywrote for the court in the federal marriage case. “The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify.”

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