Same Sex Marriage And The Law - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Same Sex Marriage And The Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8 all but guarantees California will become the 13th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same sex marriage. The Court also decided those gay couples who are currently legally married cannot be denied the same federal benefits now enjoyed by straight married couples, which was the case under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court's rulings may do more than just deliver a one-two punch to opponents of gay marriage, but may insure that eventually, perhaps sooner rather than later, same sex marriage will become the law of the land.

It is true that the Court avoided deciding whether denying gay couples the right to marry is unconstitutional. However, it may have given a very strong hint on how it will rule once it is forced to answer that question. The justices basically said the straight people who support Prop. 8 and who brought the issue before the Supreme Court had no legal standing in the case. What that boils down to, according to the Court, is that those straight supporters of Prop. 8 failed to show how gay people getting married would somehow cause them harm. And if they could not provide compelling evidence that they would be tangibly injured by same sex marriages, they had no right to legally oppose such marriages in a court of law.

That is a very powerful clue about how the Court will ultimately rule on whether gays have a constitutional right to marry. And once again it will probably be a 5 to 4 decision with Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the deciding vote in favor of gay marriage. Justice Kennedy, a conservative libertarian, has already made it clear that he is very uncomfortable with the government deciding who can and cannot get married. That being said, it is probably not a question of IF gays will be granted a federal constitutional right to marry, but when.

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