Gay marriage won significant, but incomplete, victories at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
On a 5-4 vote, the court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies same-sex couples who are legally married the same benefits as those provided under federal law to heterosexual married couples.
“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”
Also on a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that supporters of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in California, lacked standing to appeal a court ruling that overturned it. That means Proposition 8 is no more, and same-sex couples once again can get married in California.