Connect with us

BREAKING: Supreme Court Kills DOMA And Prop 8



The U.S. Supreme Court just minutes ago issued two decisions in landmark marriage cases, ruling in favor of same-sex marriage supporters. In a 5-4 ruling the Court ruled that section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, based on the Fifth Amendment. It is a broad ruling, rendering the 1996 law that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages effectively void.

On Proposition 8, the Court deferred to the lower court’s ruling — that was upheld by a higher court — which allowed California same-sex couples to marry, stating that the plaintiffs that brought the case to the court did not have “standing” to do so. The Supreme Court ruling effectively invalidates the four-year old California constitutional initiative as unconstitutional. The ruling was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority.

Prop 8 was a ballot initiative that California voters passed, writing anti-gay discrimination directly into the Golden State’s constitution, not only banning the right of same-sex couples to marry, but taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry after they had been granted it. The amendment to the constitution passed in 2008 by (approximately) a 52-48 vote.

“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty,” the ruling states, relying on federalism principles. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia dissented.

DOMA is the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, but allowed individual states to decide the issue. Since its passage, dozens of federal judges, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and many others have deemed it unconstitutional. Even President Bill Clinton, who signed it into law, voiced his opposition to the law recently.

The American people in polls overwhelmingly have believed DOMA should be repealed or struck down, and also believe same-sex couples should be given the right to marry.

skitched-20130625-211415The DOMA case, officially United States v. Windsor, involves Edith Windsor (Edie, right, below) and her case against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which demanded she pay over $363,000 in estate inheritance taxes because the federal government did not recognize her marriage as valid. But the state of New York — where Windsor lived with her long-time partner of more than four decades, Thea Spyer — recognized their marriage as valid. Historically, states had been the entity to decide who is allowed to marry and who is not, and the federal government generally deferred to those decisions.

18,000 same-sex couples married in California between the time the California Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples had the right to marry, and when voters rescinded that right. Those couples were allowed to retain their marriages as legal, creating yet another distinct class of citizenry — something most courts abhor.

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that Prop 8 indeed was the result of anti-gay animus, supporting the 2010 ruling by U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and the subsequent 2012 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 2-1 appeal decision.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in both cases in late March of this year.

skitched-20130625-212101Ironically, today marks the ten-year anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, a Supreme Court case that effectively made same-sex sexual activity legal.

This is a developing story and may be updated throughout the day.

Stay with The New Civil Rights Movement all day, and through the week for breaking news, analysis, and opinion on the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decisions from our community’s finest and most-respected attorneys, activists, politicians, and even plaintiffs in other marriage cases. 

Read more on our team of guest authors who will be sharing opinions and analysis today and this week.


Image, top, by HRC via Twitter. Image of Edie Windsor by Gina Webber via Instagram. New York Times image by Lambda Legal, via Twitter.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting



Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”


Continue Reading


‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns



The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”


Continue Reading


Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender



A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.



Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.