No body within the United States government chooses its words as carefully as the Supreme Court. One article or letter misplaced or nudged can alter the intended meaning of the opinion for decades to come. Therefore it is rather unusual that the court will explicitly write about something being overtly unconsitutional. It did today.
The majority opinion on the case that focused on the federal Defense of Marriage Act stated imply that "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of equal liberty of persons protected by the fifth ammendment."
It took 77 more pages to explain the proper legal precdent and evolution along with the external forces that influence law. Citing New York State's same sex marriage law the Court realized it was not proper for the federal government to allow same sex married couples to feel the pain or injury of not being fully recognized by their government in Washington.
This decision combined with the Court choosing to stay out of the discussion over Proposition 8 in California created a memorable and historic day when it comes to moving civil rights forward in our nation.
Some legal slicing and dicing needs to be done before Californians can be legally married. There are also policies connected to the estimated 1,000 pieces of federal law that relate to marriage. Those policies have to be reviewed and reimplemented in a way that we will the law to be followed once again.
Our nation has a history of extending freedoms to a larger and larger body of people. It has continued that course today. Despite pending legal challenges the freedom to marry who you want in the eyes of the law, it is highly unlikely that same sex marriage will be illegal ever again.
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