Jun 26, 2013

Wisconsin Gay Marriage Ban Will Fall Upon Challenge in Fed Court

Update: Meanwhile, Fox News' Alternative Universe has moved Beyond DOMA, Gay Marriage and the Voting Rights Act, as the GOP tries awkwardly to position itself on the wrong side of history without anyone noticing, the GOP hopes.

Bigotry lost big today at the U.S. Supreme Court, and equality and equal protection won.

Bigots will have to find another way to disparage and injure fellow Americans whom they hate.

Now, Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will fall the way of the national Defense of Marriage Act, struck down today because the law disparages and injures American citizens for no legitimate purpose.

In 2006, Wisconsin voters, like several other states, outlawed same-sex marriage and civil unions in a binding referendum that installed anti-gay marriage language in the Wisconsin Constitution.

Article XIII, Section 13 of the Wisconsin State Constitution now reads:

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

Today's ruling in United States. v. Windsor means Wisconsin's anti-gay marriage language will not withstand a Constitutional challenge under the federal Constitution, legal observers say, using the same logic and equal protection affirmed today.

The Wisconsin state constitution cannot deprive Americans of rights guaranteed and now recognized under the federal constitution in United States. v. Windsor any more than numerous state laws could deprive a black man and white woman (for example) from marrying after the noxious structure of racial bigotry was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

FAIR Wisconsin errs today in writing: "In order to achieve marriage equality in Wisconsin, we would need to repeal this (state) amendment first."

A challenge, hearing and decision in federal court is what is required to to achieve marriage equality in Wisconsin.

If, as was ruled today, the denial of marriage by federal law is a violation of equal treatment under the law; state law will not supersede the federal Constitution, specifically under the 14th Amendment, in which the "Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." See Equal Protection : An Overview.
President Obama reacted today to the Court decision.

Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.

The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.

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