SCOTUS and LGBT Equality

(Community Matters) I haven’t written my posting on today’s Supreme Court cases but have launched a lot (too many) tweets and FB postings. While still conducting research coming across a few enlightening observations:

Maybe Hollingsworth was an honest commitment to the niceties of federal standing. But denying the Prop 8 advocates standing while extending it to the Congressional Republicans in Windsor is a little awkward.

Marriage benefits by state:


still real questions about which Federal benefits will be available to married same sex couples in states that don’t recognize our marriage – though I’m feeling optimistic that some will

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon will begin the process to extend health care, housing and other federal benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members as soon as possible.

from Bill & Hillary Clinton: By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union. We are also encouraged that marriage equality may soon return to California. We applaud the hard work of the advocates who have fought so relentlessly for this day, and congratulate Edie Windsor on her historic victory.

the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan [DOMA case], declared that Congress’s attempt to deny federal recognition to legally married same-sex couples was just another example of bald stigmatization of a disadvantaged group. DOMA “humiliates” and “burdens” and creates a “separate status” for gay couples and, therefore, violates due process and equal protection guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Fifth amendment to the US Constitution: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

DOMA wasn’t ruled unconstitutional; section 3 which denied federal benefits to legally-married same-sex couples was ruled unconstitutional and that’s a fantastic reason to celebrate. There was no ruling on the section of DOMA which allows 38 states to deny same sex marriage and to overrule the interstate commerce clause by not recognizing these marriages from other states. DOMA must still be repealed by Congress.

Hmm, looking at income tax implications, maybe we don’t want to be combined for federal income tax purposes. Property taxes . . . if Texas denies our relationship, we continue to qualify for two separate homestead exemptions and neither of us are responsible for each others’ debts or judgments. If inheritance taxes transcend the state you live in, then LGBT couples in Texas might/could/lemons-into-lemonade reap the best of both worlds.

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