Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA And Prop 8 In Favor Of Gay Rights

Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA And Prop 8 In Favor Of Gay RightsIn a big day for gay-rights advocates, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples and issued a separate ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

‘Same-sex marriages to resume’

Cheers erupted on the steps of the high court, as the rulings were handed down. The latter decision did not speak to the constitutionality of gay marriage bans in California, or in the country as a whole. The court avoided a broad ruling, and rather, determined that the defenders of California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage did not have the standing to appeal lower court rulings against the ban.  As a result, California is likely to allow same-sex marriages to resume in a matter of weeks. Gov. Jerry Brown has already set that process in motion.


‘Unconstitutional’

The more sweeping decision, though, came in relation to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which the court said was unconstitutional and effectively gutted by ruling against a provision that denied benefits to legally married gay couples.

The 5-4 ruling — a major victory for gay-rights advocates — means those same-sex couples would be eligible for federal benefits. President Obama, who applauded the decision, directed his administration to review “all relevant federal statutes” to comply with the ruling.

The provision in question defined marriage as between a man and woman and in doing so prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people.

Are you in favor of same-sex marriage? Why or why not?

Source: Fox News

Image: Salon

American Conservatives Now In ‘Apocalyptic Despair’

American Conservatives Now In 'Apocalyptic Despair'The mood among American conservatives is now one of apocalyptic despair. Having convinced themselves that this election arrayed freedom against tyranny, they now must wonder: Did their country just democratically vote in favor of tyranny?

Makers vs. Takers?

On Fox News election night, Bill O’Reilly explained the meaning of the election: The “white establishment” was now outnumbered by minorities. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.” And these untraditional Americans “want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it, and he ran on it.”

You’ll hear O’Reilly’s view echoed wherever conservatives express themselves. Happily, the view is wrong, and in every respect. America is not a society divided between “makers” and “takers.” Instead, almost all of us proceed through a life cycle where we sometimes make and sometimes take as we pass from schooling to employment to retirement. The line between “making” and “taking” is not a racial line. The biggest government program we have, Medicare, benefits a population that is 85% white.


‘Ugly prejudice’

President Barack Obama was not re-elected by people who want to “take.” The president was re-elected by people who want to work -- and who were convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the president’s policies were more likely to create work than were the policies advocated by my party.

Obama has changes in mind that conservatives and Republicans will oppose. He’ll win some; he’ll lose some. To the extent that his wins prove injurious, future Republican Congresses and administrations will struggle to undo them. That’s politics: a contest that never ends and in which the only certainty is the certainty of constant change.

To assume from the start that only certain ethnicities will contribute, and that others aspire only to grab, is not only ugly prejudice; it is also self-destructive delusion. We need more sensible conservatives. As for the feeble conservatives, they should take a couple of aspirin and then stay quietly indoors until the temper has subsided and they are ready to say and do something useful again.

Did you vote for Obama? What changes do you expect from his second term as the U.S. President?

Source: CNN

Image: The Telegraph