DOMA Unconstitutional-Prop 8 Rejected: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the decision that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. DOMA was enacted in 1996 and bans same-sex couples from receiving the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

After weeks of putting off the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision. Here is what you need to know:

1. It Was a 5-4 Ruling

DOMA supreme court decision

In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court finds the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. According to, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito are the dissenting justices. This is not surprising as those four generally comprise the conservative block on the Court.

2. The Supreme Court Found That DOMA Violated the Fifth Amendment

supreme court decisions

The Fifth Amendment allows equal opportunity under the law for all people regardless of creed, sexuality, race, religion, etc. Scotusblog quotes the decision saying:

DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty

3. This Will Lead to Same-Sex Couples Receiving Equal Federal Marriage Benefits

With the repeal of DOMA, same sex married couples will now be able to receive the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples such as veteran’s benefits, survivor benefits, government benefits, immigration rights for spouses, and much more.

4. DOMA Was Signed into Law by Bill Clinton in 1996

bill clinton DOMA

The law passed both the House and Senate by large majorities during the mid-1990s and signed into law in September 1996. Since that time, Clinton and many of his key legislators, have changed their opinions on DOMA.

5. The Supreme Court Says Proposition 8 Has No Legal Basis

Proposition 8 was passed by state election in California in 2008. The proposition creates an amendment for the California state constitution which legally recognizes that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court has now found it without a legal basis.

You can read the entire ruling as well as the dissenting opinions here:

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