So the California Supreme Court upheld marriage as a fundamental right for "all couples" in California! All couples means ALL couples, regardless of gender. Now same-sex marriages, which started in May 2008 are 100% safe in California. OR ARE THEY ?
In November 2008, the California Congress passed Proposition 8 in the Defense of Marriage Act. This defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Doesn't this effectively overturn the California Supreme Court’s decision?
Maybe the US Supreme Court will give us the answer. This month the Supreme Supremes heard oral arguments in U.S. v. Windsor, which is the case concerning the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). DOMA provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman will be recognized by the federal government -- That means Medicare, Social Security and IRS, among others. In Windsor, two married women had a question when one died had the "marriage" was not recognized for purposes of the federal estate tax marital deduction. This caused the surviving " spouse" a higher tax burden when inheriting the estate.
The case has far-reaching implications for same-sex couples.
I give no opinion or endorsement to the Supremes here. The case is a real coin toss. But I would bet in this: they won't make a decision based on any "moral" basis. Rather they will either come down on States rights or on the Congress's right to take authority over the issue. Interesting felines for conservatives who I am sure are loathe to strike the DOMA.
States that recognize same-sex marriages could give federal recognition, which would mean that tax and estate planning is the same for both traditional and non-traditional married couples.
States that do not allow for same-sex marriage could face a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry!
This is one of the most interesting and far reaching decisions of the year. I'm excited to hear its resolution.