Chapel Hill’s Mayor Weighs In On SCOTUS Rulings

CHAPEL HILL – The United States Supreme Court ruled that a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage at the federal level as only between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

The court also decided not to take up California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which banned gay marriage in the state after it was already legal. Its decision not to take up Prop 8 means that the previous ruling in the state, which ruled the initiative unconstitutional, is upheld.

As the decisions were read to the public, speculation began about how the ruling would affect gay and lesbian individuals in North Carolina, including many prominent local figures.

WCHL’s Afternoon and Evening Host, Aaron Keck, spoke with Chapel Hill’s Mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt Wednesday about the SCOTUS’ historic rulings.

***Listen to the Interview***

UNC Law Professor Says SCOTUS Ruling Doesn’t Affect Amendment One

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.


“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.