In a landmark 5–4 ruling, the Supreme Court has struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, declaring that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve all the rights and benefits of federal law applicable to traditionally married couples.
The Defense of Marriage Act was adopted in 1996 by Congress intended to reserve benefits and federal recognition for traditional marriage. But in today’s ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated “by seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected by others, the federal statute” violates the Constitution.
As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the ruling means that more than 100,000 gay and lesbian couples who are legally married will be able to take advantage of tax breaks, pension rights and other benefits that are available to other married couples.
The four justices dissenting were John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
Twitter is abuzz with opinions from Christian leaders, including Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) who wrote, “Jesus is still King, God is still sovereign, & the church needs to remain on mission.” Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) wrote, “My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: ‘Jesus wept.'” Catholic bishop Kevin Farrell (@Bishop_Farrell): “Sexual difference matters…it is essential for marriage. Only through this difference can man & woman speak the language of married love.” And Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) tweeted, “Make no mistake: Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in the DOMA case takes the entire nation right to the brink of legal same-sex marriage.”