WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, has no standing in court. The court also struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits to same-sex married couples.
UNC School of Law professor Gene Nichol spoke to WCHL about what exactly the Supreme Court’s rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA mean, and how they could potentially give the opportunity to affect Amendment One in North Carolina.
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“Proposition 8 by the trial court had been enjoined as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. That had been appealed to the Ninth Circuit and then to the United States Supreme Court, and in effect the Supreme Court ruled today that there was no jurisdiction to hear the appeal,” Nichol explains.
While California will likely begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Supreme Court’s decision will not directly impact same-sex marriage bans in other states, like North Carolina.
“It doesn’t overturn Amendment One; it doesn’t declare it invalid. In fact, in refusing to reach the California case, it says on the one hand that we’re not going to address that issue in a direct manner,” Nichol says of the decision.