Supreme Court sides with gay couples; strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

Wed. June 26, 2013 9:16 AM by News Staff

equal justice under law

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High court also rules for same-sex marriage to resume in California

Washington, DC - The Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.

With this ruling, legally married gay men and women will now entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples.

Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, "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."

The high court also dismissed the Prop 8 challenges, which will allow same-sex marriages to resume in the state of California. The decision won't bring marriage equality to other states, including Illinois.

"This is one of the most important days in the history of our movement for LGBT civil rights," said Rick Garcia, Policy Director and Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project for The Civil Rights Agenda, Illinois' largest LGBT civil rights organization. "Although we are thrilled with the ruling, we are painfully cognizant that in Illinois same-gender couples still cannot be married and we must change that immediately. The Illinois House of Representatives must act as soon as possible."

The Chicago LGBT community will gather at 7 p.m. at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in the heart of the City's gay entertainment district for a Day of Decision rally. The event will begin with a short rally, followed by a march, and is sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network. For more information on Day of Decision rallies in other cities, visit  

Read the full text of the DOMA decision (PDF)

Read the full text of Hollingsworth v. Perry - Prop. 8 (PDF)

The Associated Press posted this video to their YouTube depicting the scene outside the Supreme Court when the the ruling against DOMA came down.