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article imageObama to SCOTUS — Overturn California same-sex marriage ban

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 1, 2013 in Politics
Washington - President Obama asked the Supreme Court of the US to overturn California's ban on same sex marriage. In a legal brief the Justice Department said that gay couples in California have equal protection right to wed, which voters were not empowered to ban.
While there was no endorsement of a constitutional right to marry nationwide, the "Friends of the Court"s brief said that the court should review laws banning same sex marriage under heightened scrutiny.
While the brief asks to strike down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure, it stops short of pushing for marriage equality across the nation. If the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) overturned Proposition 8, it would affect eight states with similar laws, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.
During the 2012 election campaign, President Obama said that his views on gay marriage were evolving and he announced his support for gay marriage, although he added that this should be up to the states. During his inauguration speech in January, the president raised expectations of his support when he said that the nation's journey "is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."
For if we are truly created equal, than surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,
According to FOX News, this is the president's most expansive view of gay marriage, which indicates that he is moving away from his previous view that the states should determine its own gay marriage laws.
California is one of eight states that grants gay couples equal rights through civil unions or domestic partnerships. The administration brief argues that by granting those rights California has already acknowledged that gay civil unions are equivalent to straight ones.
They establish homes and lives together, support each other financially, share the joys and burdens of raising children, and provide care through illness and comfort at the moment of death
According to CNN, senior government sources said that the brief had President Obama's personal input and blessing.
Use of a voter initiative to promote democratic self-governance cannot save a law like Proposition 8 that would otherwise violate equal protection. Prejudice may not however be the basis for differential treatment under the law.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that the issues before the court, on Proposition 8 and he Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), are not only important to tens of thousands of Americans who are being denied equal rights, but to the nation as a whole.
SCOTUS has agreed to consider two cases concerning gay marriage later this month. One is on Proposition 8 and the other DOMA.
DOMA restricts the federal government from recognizing gay marriage and the administration has said for two years that it was unconstitutional. Lower courts have agreed.
Currently nine states recognize same sex marriage and 14 states recognize unions and domestic partnerships, while 37 states limit marriage to opposite sex couples.
More about Gay rights, Same sex marriage, Social issues, Human Rights, Obama administration
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