Radio Times

DOMA

June 27, 2013

Guests: Kermit Roosevelt and Douglas NeJaime

Yesterday the Supreme Court delivered two historic rulings backing gay marriage.  In the first, United States v Windsor, the court found the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) discriminates against same-sex couples.  The decision means that gay couples will now be entitled to the same federal benefits as straight couples, provided they’re legally married.   In a second endorsement of gay unions, the Supreme Court chose not to rule on the case of Hollingsworth v Perry, effectively striking down California’s Propostion 8 – a 2008 law which banned same-sex marriages.

The landmark ruling on DOMA – which was passed into law under President Clinton’s administration – represents an important step forward for gay rights in America.  Same-sex couples will now be able to file joint tax returns, inherit each other’s property without paying tax, and become entitled to other health and pension benefits.  But with gay marriage currently legal in just 12 states and the District of Columbia, questions remain about how equalizing this decision will be.  We’ll ask University of Pennsylvania Constitutional Law Professor KERMIT ROOSEVELT, who filed an amicus briefing in US v Windsor, and DOUGLAS NEJAIME, Associate Professor at Loyola Law School in California.

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