POLITICS
06/26/2013 11:04 am ET

Proposition 8: Supreme Court Rules On California's Gay Marriage Ban

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided that traditional marriage activists who put the anti-gay marriage measure Proposition 8 on California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trial.

“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”

HuffPost's Ryan Reilly and Mike Sacks report:

The judgement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. While California will likely begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the decision will not have an impact beyond the state's borders, and other same-sex marriage bans across the country will be left intact.

California voters added the ban to the state's constitution in 2008 through a ballot initiative that reversed the state Supreme Court's recognition of same-sex marriage earlier that year. Two same-sex couples challenged Proposition 8 in federal court, and by the time their suit reached the justices, two lower courts had declared the ban unconstitutional.

Because standing is a threshold question in any federal case, the justices did not reach the plaintiffs' main argument that Proposition 8 violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and deprives same-sex couples of the right to marry.

"[I]t is not enough that the party invoking the power of the court have a keen interest in the issue," the majority wrote. Because the Court did not find that the Proposition 8 proponents had "concrete and particularized injury," the justices concluded that they "have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the Ninth Circuit."

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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06/26/2013 7:32 PM EDT

Catholic Archbishop: DOMA, Prop 8 Rulings 'Hurt Us All'

Some Catholic leaders are asking parishioners to consider the judgment of a higher power, not the nation's highest court.

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron issued a statement criticizing the Supreme Court's decision in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, saying that attempts to redefine marriage "hurt us all."

The well-being of our society, our nation, and our families is intimately linked to the institution of marriage. These decisions by the United States Supreme Court will make significantly more difficult our work of upholding the truth that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. Such decisions, made by any civic authority, do not serve the common good.

Catholics and millions of our fellow citizens will continue to make the case, respectfully yet vigorously, that marriage cannot be redefined, and that attempts to do so hurt us all.

Read more here.

06/26/2013 5:58 PM EDT

Stonewall Inn Crowd Celebrates DOMA, Vows To Keep Fighting

The Huffington Post's Lila Shapiro reports:

NEW YORK -- On Wednesday, the Stonewall Inn opened earlier than usual. At 10 a.m., the day the U.S. Supreme Court handed the gay rights movement a landmark victory, the historic bar was dimly lit, strung with rainbow flags, and filled with revelers toasting each other and pledging their determination to keep fighting.

Read the whole post here.

06/26/2013 4:16 PM EDT

Washington National Cathedral Rings Bells Celebrating Gay Marriage Rulings

The Washington National Cathedral rang bells at noon today to celebrate the Supreme Court rulings on the Defense Of Marriage Act and Prop 8.

Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Cathedral, released a statement soon after the rulings were announced:

“We are ringing our bells at the Cathedral to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants," he said. "Our prayers for continued happiness are with them and with all couples who will be joined in matrimony in the years to come, whether at Washington National Cathedral or elsewhere."

Click here to hear the bells.

06/26/2013 4:12 PM EDT

Matthew Shepard's Mom Responds To DOMA Ruling

Matthew Shepard's mom, Judy, said she wished her son had lived to see Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA.

"I wish he'd been here to see it," she said. "This case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true."

Click here to read more.

06/26/2013 3:45 PM EDT

Marriage Equality Supporters Pictured Reacting To SCOTUS Rulings From Stonewall Inn

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(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

06/26/2013 3:31 PM EDT

Celebrating From Stonewall Inn, Iconic Location Credited For The Start Of The LGBT Movement

stonewall inn

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

06/26/2013 3:20 PM EDT

Couple Kiss, Celebrate SCOTUS Decisions While Holding Their Soon-To-Be Adopted Children

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(Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

06/26/2013 3:09 PM EDT

DOMA Decision Helps LGBT Couples On Immigration

HuffPost's Elise Foley reports:

Judy Rickard, who is 65, and Karin Bogliolo, who is 72, have been together for eight years, legal domestic partners for five and legally married for two. They're one of an estimated 28,500 binational same-sex couples who have been excluded from immigration benefits because of DOMA, which disallowed the federal government from recognizing their marriages. The ruling doesn't entirely fix the problem -- couples must be married rather than partners, and must travel to a state that allows same-sex marriage if they don't live in one -- but it's still a major victory for LGBT rights.

Read more about Rickard and Bogliolo and more couples helped by the DOMA decision here.

06/26/2013 3:07 PM EDT

Food Network Host Announces Engagement To Partner Of 20 Years

Ted Allen, host of the hit Food Network show "Chopped" and his partner of 20 years, interior designer Barry Rice, were "over the moon" when they read on Wednesday morning that the court had ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Their day had come. They were getting married. Allen quickly announced their engagement on Twitter and Facebook. He said that the notices garnered the most enthusiastic response of any he'd ever posted; his Facebook status received 417 comments in the first 40 minutes.

Fellow food competition host Tom Colicchio sent his enthusiastic congratulations to the couple via Twitter.

Allen said that he and Rice would soon begin preparing for their wedding, likely a quiet affair in New York, but for now they're content to revel in the good news.

"I don't think that by any means our movement is finished, that our work is done, but this was an enormous hurdle," he said. "DOMA has been Chopped, sir."

-- Joe Satran

06/26/2013 3:01 PM EDT

'Make Them Hear You'

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington gathered outside the Supreme Court Tuesday, singing "Make Them Hear You" after the Supreme Court rulings. Watch a video of the performance below:

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