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Published:June 26th, 2013 12:32 EST

Supreme Court Delivers Landmark Victory For Same-Sex Marriage

By Robert Paul Reyes

"In a victory for same-sex marriage supporters, the Supreme Court this morning voted to overturn a key part of the the Defense of Marriage Act and let stand a lower court ruling overturning California`s Proposition 8.

marriage`The principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage,`  Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in a 5-4 decision on DOMA. `This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.`

DOMA defined marriage, for federal purposes, as a relationship between a man and a woman."

Chicago Tribune

By striking down Section 3 of DOMA, gay and lesbian couples who were lawfully married in the 12 states and the District of Columbia that recognize same-sex marriages will be able to enjoy more than 1,100 federal benefits and rights linked to marriage status.

By letting stand a lower court ruling overturning California`s Proposition 8, it clears the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

This is a landmark victory not only for gays and lesbians, but for everyone who believes in human rights, and respects and cherishes the Constitution of the United States.

If the fundamental right to marry the person you love is denied to gays and lesbians, it diminishes the freedom and equality for all of us.

It`s not only gays and lesbians who should be celebrating, but everyone who believes that America is the greatest democracy in the world. Sometimes it takes us decades and even centuries to extend full equality to a minority, but we are inexorably moving towards the day when we will all enjoy an equal measure of freedom and justice.

Recently we have seen the executive government at its worst: Trampling our civil liberties, and unleashing the IRS on political enemies. But we shouldn`t despair or give up on democracy, today the Supreme Court made me once again realize that with all of America`s faults and weaknesses; it`s still the greatest country in the world.

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