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Supreme Court strikes down federal marriage provision

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

Supporters of gay marriage embrace outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.  CHARLES DHARAPAK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHARLES DHARAPAK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Supporters of gay marriage embrace outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Scalia read his dissent aloud. Scalia said the court should not have decided the case.

But, given that it did, he said, “we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.”

The law was passed in 1996 by broad majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Since then, many lawmakers who voted for the law and Clinton have renounced their support.

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myfather15
57307
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myfather15 06/28/13 - 08:38 am
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Somehow the Chronicle keeps

Somehow the Chronicle keeps REMOVING my posts; simply because they mention heterosexual couples can naturally procreate.

CAN I PLEASE GET AN EXPLANATION!!!! I've received no email, informing me that someone flagged my comment. They are just removed quietly, with NO explanation. AC, do you think I could get the courtesy of an explanation??

Sean Moores
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Sean Moores 06/28/13 - 08:52 am
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@ myfather

It's not just your comments that are being removed. The arguing and insults have gotten out of hand lately. I'm removing any post that looks anything like an attack or insult. If we have time, we send a warning. We don't always have time.

Sean Moores
702
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Sean Moores 06/28/13 - 08:53 am
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I don't care what the topic

I don't care what the topic is or how strongly people may feel about it. I'm not going to let the conversation degrade into petty bickering.

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