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Supreme Court Gay Marriage Rulings Come Out (LIVE UPDATES)

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The Supreme Court is ruling on two major gay marriage cases -- Windsor v. U.S., addressing the Defense of Marriage Act, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, addressing California's Proposition 8.

The court heard arguments on the two cases in March.

Below, live updates on the Supreme Court rulings:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Wednesday that gay and lesbian couples in the state should be able to marry immediately, rather than wait 25 days for the Supreme Court to finalize its ruling.

"The Court agreed with our argument that opponents of same-sex marriage lacked the legal standing required to bring the issue to the court. Same-sex marriages can legally resume in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on the District Court Ruling," she said in a statement. "I ask that the Ninth Circuit lift this stay immediately, because gay and lesbian couples in California have waited long enough for their full civil rights."

--Luke Johnson

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Jon Carson, Executive Director of Organizing for Action, sent an email to supporters after Wednesday's ruling:

The Supreme Court's ruling this morning made history.

Now, the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional -- meaning that all couples will be equal in the eyes of the federal law. And California's Prop 8 is dismissed, clearing the way for same-sex couples in California to marry once again.

For everyone who cares about equality, we've come so far in the past few years.

This is a call to action -- this is a fight we will win.

We will go state by state if we have to -- backed by a broad movement of millions who know a thing or two about making history. And OFA is going to be there every step of the way.

So if you believe that all people should be able to marry who they love, and if you're ready to fight for it -- today's a great day to say it.

...

This has been a long-fought battle, and there is a lot of fight still ahead of us. But I'd like to believe that some of the hardest fights are behind us.

We have history on our side, and we've never had more momentum than we do right now.

Thirteen states down, 37 to go.

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Organizing For Action posted the following video timeline on gay marriage:

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The Human Rights Campaign is taking over Facebook again after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay rights activists on Wednesday in a pair of decisions rendering two bans on sex-same marriages unconstitutional. The group is encouraging people to show their support of marriage equality by overlaying the red equality symbol over their profile pictures on the social network.

The HRC has created an app called Picture Equality that will put the red equal sign over your current profile picture. It's available for iOS and Android for free. You can also change your photo using a tool on their website.

The HRC's red equal sign became overwhelmingly popular on Facebook last March, when the Supreme Court was debating two cases on gay marriage. One involved the Defense Of Marriage Act, which banned federal recognition of gay marriages, and other California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in the nation's largest state. Then, people were urged to make the original equal sign their Facebook profile pictures and wear red.

Read more here.

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New bills, recent polls and a move to put a referendum on the ballot suggest that days are numbered for Michigan's gay marriage ban. But a landmark case for gay rights may strike it down even sooner.

Expecting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Democrats unveiled a package of bills in the state House this week that includes a joint resolution to amend the Michigan constitution to allow gay marriage.

Michigan Senate Democratic Majority Leader Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement that she supported Wednesday's SCOTUS decision.

“Today’s ruling is a proud step forward for our nation and affirms the belief that love, not politics, should be the only factor that determines whether any two Americans choose to get married," she said. "With today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, it’s clear that it’s time to move forward on that process to ensure that same-sex couples have the same rights, opportunities and protections as everyone else in our state.”

Another path exists to overturning Michigan's ban on gay marriage, and that route could be taken much sooner. Lesbian couple April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are challenging the ban's constitutionality, with some hope that the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 will pave the way for a decision striking down the state's ban by the end of summer.

Read more here.

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Bob Konst, 70, drove up to Washington from Miami Beach earlier this week to witness the DOMA/Prop 8 rulings and has waited outside the court house all week. He is disappointed with the Prop 8 ruling. "It's a good victory. But we're keeping the debate going and we should have ended it. More should have happened."

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Mother Jones' Kevin Drum reports:

In today's other decision on gay marriage, the Supreme Court declined to allow supporters of California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, to appeal their case in federal court. (Opponents had sued and successfully overturned Prop 8.) Supporters could appeal the decision in California, the court said, because California recognized their standing, but they can't sue in federal court because they don't have standing according to federal rules. Since the California Supreme Court had ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, this means the issue has been decided. Gay marriage is legal in California.

Click here to read more.

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While most of famously gay-friendly San Francisco reacted to Supreme Court's rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 with giddy excitement, some groups in the city are decided unhappy with the result.

The Archdioceses of San Francisco, whose recently appointed leader, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, has made headlines for his vocal opposition to gay rights -- even going as far as serving as the chair of the U.S. bishop's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, released a statement slamming the rulings and lamenting what he feels is a change in the traditional definition of marriage.

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.

“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage –- the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife –- he pointed back to 'the beginning' of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.

“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”

-- Aaron Sankin

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HuffPost's Jaweed Kaleem reports:

"Though the Supreme Court has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and invalidated California's gay marriage ban, marriage remains a complicated and contested issue among religious denominations.

Nationwide, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage rights announced plans following the rulings Wednesday for prayer meetings and other gatherings, including an event supporting same-sex marriage on Wednesday in the Washington National Cathedral."

Read more here.

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ThinkProgress' Tara Culp-Ressler reports:

On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. While the decision doesn’t ensure marriage equality in states that have not already agreed to extend it to same-sex couples, Wednesday’s ruling does have important implications for the federal benefits that LGBT couples may receive under equal protection — including health care benefits.

As Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff points out, the Court’s decision will allow same-sex couples will be eligible for greater tax subsidies under Obamacare because they will be considered dependents. Before DOMA was struck down, only heterosexual couples qualified for that tax break through their employer-sponsored health plans.

Click here to read more.

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HuffPost Comedy looks at the top 10 ways heterosexual marriage will be affected now that it's not being defended.

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In a statement released this morning, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu said that her office is preparing to deal with hundreds of anticipated requests for marriage licenses from gay and lesbian couples as gay marriage resumes in California over the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, June 26, the United States Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal in the case of Dennis Hollingsworth, et al., Petitioners v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. This decision allows the District Court decision striking down Proposition 8 to stand, thereby allowing resumption of same-sex marriage in the State of California. Carmen Chu, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder said, “Today is a great day for Californians, and a great day for the LGBT community. We can all rejoice together that inequality will not be tolerated under the law and all couples who share a love for one another can marry without obstacle or discrimination."

The Office of the Assessor-Recorder will play a significant role in helping the thousands of couples who plan to visit City Hall in the coming months to be married. Assessor-Recorder Chu stated,"I am proud that our staff is fully prepared and are eager to officially record these marriage licenses. I want to ensure a smooth and efficient process for everyone during this remarkable moment in history."

Chu noted that, for newly married couples, there is no charge to record their marriage license; however there is a fee if they wish to receive a copy of the document.

-- Aaron Sankin

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HuffPost Gay Voices reports:

Anti-gay groups were immediately up in arms after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, claiming that this decision will change life in the United States for the worse and that "God's judgment" will be upon us.

Read more here.

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act:

Today’s historic decision in the case of United States v. Windsor, declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, is an enormous triumph for equal protection under the law for all Americans. The Court’s ruling gives real meaning to the Constitution’s promise of equal protection to all members of our society, regardless of sexual orientation. This decision impacts a broad array of federal laws. At the president’s direction, the Department of Justice will work expeditiously with other Executive Branch agencies to implement the Court’s decision. Despite this momentous victory, our nation’s journey -– towards equality, opportunity, and justice for everyone in this country -– is far from over. Important, life-changing work remains before us. And, as we move forward in a manner consistent with the Court’s ruling, the Department of Justice is committed to continuing this work, and using every tool and legal authority available to us to combat discrimination and to safeguard the rights of all Americans.

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San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu invoked the memory of former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk on Wednesday. Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the United States, was gunned down in his office 35 years ago a few short steps from the rotunda in San Francisco City Hall, where Chiu was speaking.

"At the top of these stairs, there sits a bust of Harvey Milk," Chiu told the cheering crowd of a few hundred gay marriage supporters. "Harvey told us you've got to have hope. Today that hope is triumphant."

-- Aaron Sankin

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San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said that his office will immediately move to enforce the order to let gay marriages recommence in California as soon as possible, even if anti-gay marriage groups or other counties in California file further legal challenges.

"Opponents are already saying they'll go back into court," Herrera said during a Wednesday morning event at San Francisco City Hall. "But we will fight; we already have the motions drafted."

-- Aaron Sankin

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Andrew Mertens, 24, from Bethesda, Maryland, and Zach Pinto, 21 from Massachusetts, were on their second date at the Court this morning.

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(Photo by HuffPost's Danielle Schlanger)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised the Supreme Court for declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional on Wednesday, but said the fight for LGBT rights isn't over -- and his next push will be for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

"Today is a great, historic day for equality in America," Reid said in a statement. “The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have a negative impact on anyone else, or on our nation as a whole, has always struck me as absurd."

Despite the good news, Reid said too many Americans still face discrimination at the workplace. Currently, it is legal in more than 30 states for an employer to fire someone based solely on that person's sexual orientation or gender identity. More than 50 senators have signed on to ENDA, a bill that would ban such discrimination, and Reid said he's ready to get moving on that.

"Every American deserves to be free from job discrimination," Reid said. "I will soon bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the floor of the Senate for a vote.”

-- Jennifer Bendery

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HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reports:

The federal government's refusal to recognize legal same-sex marriages has imposed a "stigma," enshrined a "separate status" into law and "humiliates" a group of people -- and that is unconstitutional, concluded Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority of Supreme Court justices on Wednesday in their historic decision striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Click here to read more.

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San Francisco resident Nicholas Lemos, 45, stood on the steps of City Hall waving a rainbow flag and donning a Statue of Liberty costume.

"Today, the decisions of the Supreme Court upheld the destiny of Liberty," he said. "It's about time these laws are buried in the history books."

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-- Aaron Sankin

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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said that California counties must start issuing gay marriage licenses as soon as the 9th Circuit affirms that the stay of its ruling is lifted.

"After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted," Brown said in a statement.

The Supreme Court dismissed the Proposition 8 case, ruling that the anti-gay marriage plaintiffs had no standing and instructing the 9th Circuit to dismiss their appeal.

Here is a letter from the California Department of Public Health to county clerks informing them of the Supreme Court decision.

-- Luke Johnson

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Edie Windsor, plaintiff in the DOMA case, spoke at a press conference about the Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday.

Windsor thanked her legal team and others for taking on her case.

"We won, all the way," Windsor said.

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Earlier this morning, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) offered this statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act:

"Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted. For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people's representatives through DOMA. What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States."

NBC News reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked to respond to Bachmann's statement. Her response:

Who cares?

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HuffPost reports:

The Supreme Court finally ruled that the federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, which means Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard will finally tie the knot -- along with millions of other gay Americans whose right to marry was previously denied.

Click here to read more.

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