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Short Recap of the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Marriage Cases

United States v. Windsor is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case pertaining to whether married same-sex couples should be entitled to federal benefits. The Court held that DOMA violates same sex couples' constitutional rights. This means that if a same-sex couple is married in one of the eleven states that recognize same-sex marriage, the federal government is constitutionally obligated to afford that couple the same federal benefits that it does for all other married couples. If a same-sex couple moves to a different state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage after their marriage, the couple's new state does not have to recognize the marriage, but the federal government is obligated to continue its recognition of it. 

Hollingsworth v. Perry is the case pertaining to California's voter-passed Proposition 8. The Court held that the individuals that were defending Proposition 8 lacked the standing to bring the suit (see our earlier article on these cases by clicking here for a short and easy to understand explanation of standing). The Court did not look to any of the constitutional merits of same-sex marriage, and the federal trial court's holding stands. Thus, Proposition 8 is not in effect in California and same-sex marriage continues to be legal within the state. 

For a more in depth look at the background of these two cases, click here to take a look at an earlier article that we published a few weeks ago about the potential outcomes to each case.