Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman released the following response on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the California Prop. 8:
“Today marks a triumphant victory for justice, equality, and human dignity for all. This morning, the United States Supreme Court declared a major provision of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. DOMA has long denied equal rights to legally married same-sex couples. The court also ruled that proponents of California’s Prop. 8 had no standing to appeal the United States District Court ruling, which declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. These two landmark rulings mark a giant leap in the advancement of American Civil Rights.
“In the landmark DOMA opinion, the Supreme Court declares that DOMA violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying benefits to legally married same-sex couples. In the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the government cannot treat same-sex unions as ‘second-class marriages for the purposes of federal law.’ Moreover, he declared that ‘(b)y seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriage less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.’
“In the California Prop. 8 ruling, the Supreme Court effectively upheld the District Court’s decision that proclaimed Prop. 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause. In the opinion, District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker wrote that Prop. 8 ‘does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.’
“This is a defining moment in America’s continuing Civil Rights struggle: from the 1967 historic Loving v. Virginia decision that declared the ban the interracial marriage unconstitutional to today’s ruling affirming equal rights for same-sex couples, the Supreme Court has made clear that any effort to undermine human dignity and promulgate discrimination runs afoul of the fundamental principles of the U.S. Constitution.
“My husband Michael and I are lucky that we were legally married in 2008 here in California, and just recently celebrated our 30th anniversary together. I’m so proud that now so many of our friends can be legally married. Because of today’s DOMA decision, we are now looking forward to filing our first joint federal income tax return, making it the first time we’ve ever looked forward to April 15th.”