Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Court rules against DOMA, Prop. 8

Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace today outside the Supreme Court in Washington, after the court struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples.  AP photo

Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 after the court struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California’s gay marriage ban — Proposition 8 — did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.

“Discrimination has lost, bigotry has lost and love has won. That’s the way it should be,” said Shelly Bailes, a Davis resident who, along with her wife Ellen Pontac, has been at the forefront of the fight for gay rights locally and nationally for years. “Prop. 8 is in the dustbin of history where it belongs and we are overjoyed.”

“I’m overjoyed, I’m absolutely giddy, I (can’t stop) jumping up and down I can’t stop smiling,” Pontac added.

The court’s 5-4 vote Wednesday leaves in place the initial trial court declaration that the ban is unconstitutional. California officials probably will rely on that ruling to allow the resumption of same-sex unions in about a month’s time.

The high court itself said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states.

The outcome was not along ideological lines.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia.

“We have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the 9th Circuit,” Roberts said, referring to the federal appeals court that also struck down Proposition 8.

Four justices, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor, said the court should have decided the constitutional question that was before it.

San Francisco officials and the city’s former mayor are claiming victory.

Former Mayor Gavin Newsom said at City Hall after Wednesday’s ruling that San Francisco is a city of “doers” that not only tolerates diversity, but celebrates it every day. He called Wednesday a special day.

Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, starting gay marriage in California.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera called the ruling a great victory. He said people criticized the city in 2004, saying it was moving too fast in granting marriage licenses. But he said he believes the only way to get things done is to “kick down the door.”

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

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.

“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.

Outside the court, supporters of same-sex marriage burst into cheers of “DOMA is Dead” and some wept openly upon hearing word of the decision.

Some in the crowd hugged and others jumped up and down just after 10 a.m. today when the decision was announced. Many people were on their cell phones monitoring Twitter, news sites and blogs for word of the decision. And there were cheers as runners came down the steps with the decision in hand and turned them over to reporters who quickly flipped through the decisions.

Chants of “Thank you” and “USA” came from the crowd as plaintiffs in the cases descended the court’s marbled steps

Amanda Klinger, 29, and Caroline Hunt, 26, of Washington, DC, were awaiting the ruling anxiously.

Hunt said she cried and jumped up and down when she heard the news from a neighbor in the crowd, said she felt “relieved.” Klinger said she no longer feels like “a second class citizen.”

Most of the people who spilled across the sidewalk in front of the court were gay marriage supporters. One held a rainbow flag and another wore a rainbow shawl, and a number of people carried signs with messages including “2 moms make a right” and “ ‘I Do’ Support Marriage Equality.”

— Davis Enterprise staff  writer Tom Sakash contributed to this report.

 

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6