“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,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
Justice Kennedy was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions that diminished their legacy and disgraced the court.
TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen’s statement on the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act:
“We are ecstatic with today’s ruling and consider it a monumental step in our fight for fairness. It respects our relationships and legitimizes our love in the eyes of the law. With the fall of DOMA, our state-sanctioned marriages are transformed from largely symbolic to substantive by granting the same federal legal protections afforded heterosexual couples. This is a cause for celebration and we applaud the Supreme Court for making a wise decision that places it on the right side of history.”