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

Mass Crowds In Paris Protest Against Gay Marriage

Mass Crowds In Paris Protest Against Gay MarriageHundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children. Three big marches converged on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower.

‘Essential building block of society’

France’s Socialist government is planning to change the law this year. But the demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society.

The organisers put the number of marchers at 800,000, with demonstrators pouring into Paris by train and bus, carrying placards that read, “We don’t want your law, Francois” and “Don’t touch my civil code”. The “Demo for all” event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense” and told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman.


‘Test for the president’

Although France allows civil unions between same-sex couples, Francois Hollande made a pledge to extend their rights part of his presidential campaign. Centre-right UMP President Jean-Francois Cope said the rally would be a “test” for the president because there were “clearly millions of French people who are probably concerned by this reform”.

The far-right National Front is also opposed to the change, although its leader Marine Le Pen stayed away from the march, arguing the issue was a diversion by politicians from France’s real problems. Despite the support of the Church and political right, the organisers are keen to stress their movement is non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals, BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield reports.

Are you for or against gay couples’ right to marry and adopt children? Feel free to explain your side to us!

Source: BBC News

Image: The Washington Post