The U.S. Supreme Court issued two long-awaited decisions today, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, and ruling that Proposition 8 supporters did not have standing to bring the case, thus clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California. We talk about how the Justices ruled, and what these watershed decisions mean for the state.

Listener Questions About the Rulings

Basics of the Rulings and DOMA Case

Complete Show Highlights

Scott Shafer, reporter and host of KQED's The California Report
Jane Schacter, professor of law at Stanford Law School
David Levine, professor of law at UC Hastings College of the Law
John Eastman, professor at the Chapman University School of Law, and chair of the National Organization for Marriage -- which supports Prop. 8
Kate Kendell, executive director of The National Center for Lesbian Rights

  • Brad

    Great news!

  • Skip Conrad

    What will be the mechanism by which the marriage clause is removed from the California Constitution – specifically section 7.5? The only precedent I can think of was the 19th Amendment, which was overturned by the 21st Amendment. Will there be another popular referendum?

    • Kim Alexander

      I was wondering the same thing – it seems to me that even though the Supreme Court didn’t rule directly on Prop. 8, it did rule on DOMA and that decision I would think could be used to challenge that clause in the California Constitution…would love to hear this discussed on the show…

    • cynthiaprice

      I think you meant the 18th Amendment (Prohibition). The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

  • Skip Conrad

    The party defending Prop 8 had no standing. But the party who does have standing is the governor (Jerry Brown) and attorney general (Kamala Harris). They refused to defend section 7.5 of the State Constitution which was the implementation of Prop 8. So both this officials took an Oath to defend the State Constitution. So they refused to defend the State Constitution in court. I don’t get it.

    Can somebody explain?

  • Mike Williams

    Does the DOMA ruling mean I can re-file my taxes for past years as Married? I was married in California in 2008 and have paid imputed income tax for four years for my partner’s health benefits. This seems like I can re-file all years as Married and get a refund. Thoughts?

  • Chris OConnell

    I hate when the Court uses standing or some other procedural issue to dodge the issue. I think this doctrine has some utility when the people bringing the suit really are intruding and there are other more appropriate plaintiffs. But here, and in many environmental cases, the merits should be decided! So I agree with Eastman on this point (that may be a first and a last!).

  • emily

    Hugh propaganda campaign to move people away from supporting porp8? Like
    the one that got prop 8 passed in the first place- please wake up to
    the 21st C. Thank you~

  • Hezekiah

    Marriage is a general concept. Whether it is Christian marriage or Jewish or pagan or any other type. You could hypothetically have a religion founded on same-sex partnerships, in which case all marriages within that religion would be same-sex. In the USA, the Christian right is trying to “own” marriage, and it cannot. The people said no, and now the court said no.
    The disgusting & degenerate Christian Taliban is today defeated.

  • wbeeman

    Why are commentators on the Prop 8 question trying to stir up mischief by suggesting to the right wing that county clerks could ramp up another legal challenge to Prop 8 by refusing to issue marriage licenses and then being sued? Now for sure, some will try this! I urge the pro-same-sex marriage movement to avoid this trap at all costs. If a clerk won’t obey the law in hopes of obtaining standing to challenge the decision, do anything but challenge them in court. Launch a recall movement, file an administrative complaint (e.g. they were disrespectful),. but let’s not have years of additional wrangling about this.

  • wbeeman

    We need to clarify how this affects domestic partnerships in California and other states. Will the federal benefits apply to registered domestic partners, or do they to formally marry?

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