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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 2nd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 17 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 17

Same-sex marriage is legal--again--in California

BY Amy Asman and Patrick M. Klemz

Couples across California are rushing to get married after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on same-sex marriage on June 28, just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court published its opinion in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Proposition 8 proponents responded by filing an emergency petition with the Supreme Court arguing the Ninth Circuit lacked the authority to make such a ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy, however, declined to interject.

Teresa Barahona, an employee with Pacific Pride Foundation in Santa Maria, said in an e-mail to the Sun that it’s “overwhelming to be a part of this historical and victorious day for LGBT people here in California and across the nation.

“We’re excited for the road ahead and to no longer be treated as second-class citizens. We’re excited for our LGBT elders who have been together for 30, 40, 50 years. We’re excited for our future children to be born in a country that no longer defines marriage by gender but by love,” she wrote. “It’s wonderful and amazing to know that now we have the CHOICE to get married when we’re ready. We’re ready to celebrate!”

Also on June 26, the high court struck down a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denying federal benefits to same-sex spouses. In U.S. v. Windsor, the court determined that Congress unconstitutionally intended to stigmatize legally married same-sex spouses by enacting DOMA Section 3.

Justice Antonin Scalia roughly chided the Windsor majority for holding that DOMA Section 3 violates equal protection without going so far as to establish a standard for reviewing future gay marriage cases. Scalia wanted to review DOMA under the highly differential standard that applies to, for example, laws discriminating against economic groups.

The revision of DOMA only affects same-sex couples living in the 13 states that recognize gay marriage, which now again includes California. 

Four years ago, California voters passed Proposition 8, amending the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.