Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional, Prop 8 Petitioners Have No Legal Standing
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Aired 6/26/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Val Wood, Chief Deputy Recorder, County Clerk, San Diego County
Katie Orr, State Government Reporter, Capitol Public Radio
Glenn Smith, Constitutional Law Professor, California Western School of Law
Charles LiMandri, General Counsel, National Organization for Marriage
Julie Greenberg, Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Mattheus Stephens, SD civil trial lawyer, specializing in LGBT law
Richard Valdez, Board Member,San Diego LGBT Community Center
UPDATE 1:10 p.m. PT Appeals court says it will wait at least 25 days before allowing gay marriages in Calif., the Associated Press reports.
After an almost five-year debate on Proposition 8, the Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marrige to resume in California. The high court ruled that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to appeal lower court decisions that deemed the state's voter-approved measure unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Decision On Defense Of Marriage Act
See the Supreme Court's full decision on the Defense Of Marriage Act. The high court ruled against it.
Supreme Court Decision On Proposition 8
The Supreme Court ruled petitioners against Proposition 8 did not have legal standing to argue the case. Read the full opinion.
Upon hearing the news, Molly McKinley in San Diego was brought to tears.
"I never thought I'd see this because after 2008 I just thought it was out of my reach," she said.
"Now that it's actually happened, it's the best day of my life," she cried, standing early today at the base of the flagpole flying a rainbow flag in Hillcrest.
On a truly historic day, the Supreme Court also ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
"DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a state entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty," the court's opinion said.
John Shaw was also part of a slowly growing crowd this morning in Hillcrest as the rulings were announced and said he was "very happy" with the high court's DOMA ruling.
"It will now allow my husband and me to participate in federal programs," he said.
San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, a gay man, said he was pleased with the decision.
"Today is an especially proud day to be an American," he said in an official statement. "When civil rights are secured for more people, our country is stronger."
Gloria said he will ask the council's rules committee "to examine all of the city's policies to make sure they are consistent with post-DOMA federal regulations and that our employees are afforded proper benefits."
California Gov. Jerry Brown also comment on the decision.
He tweeted: "I've directed [California's Department of Public Health] to advice counties to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as 9th Circuit stay is lifted."
However, San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality's Kelly Hutton, who also joined the crowd in Hillcrest, said the battle for equality isn't over.
"No matter what, we're still not done yet — no matter what our rulings are, win or lose," she said.
Hutton said the LGBT community still has to fight for equal rights related to employment, healthcare and immigration.
Congressman Scott Peters, who recently joined the "NOH8 On The Hill" campaign, released his statement this morning as well.
"It is a significant day for the American ideals of equality and fairness," Peters said in his written statement. "I am proud to stand with the LGBT community as all Americans can celebrate this news.
With the ruling in the Proposition 8 case, Californians will now be able to marry the person who they love. This is a reaffirmation of the loving commitments that LGBT Californians are already sharing across our state ... It is about time we move beyond division and discrimination and instead work toward ensuring the equal rights guaranteed to all citizens under the Constitution."
Congresswoman Susan Davis also commented on the ruling.
"These rulings are an affirmation of marriage, love and commitment of two loving people for the good of society. It is also an affirmation of the spirit of equality that is laid out in our constitution. Today, the court moved us into the 21st Century where future generations can be proud of who they are," she said in her written statement.
KPBS' Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Megan Burke and Peggy Pico contributed to this Midday and Evening Edition segment