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Supreme Court rules that DOMA is unconstitutional!

WASHINGTON – The discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act will be wiped off law books after the U.S. Supreme Court today declared that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. The broad ruling was based on violations of basic due process and equal protection principles guaranteed under the law as protected by the Fifth Amendment.

"DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty," the majority wrote.

"DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

"DOMA’s principal effect is to identify and make unequal a subset of state-sanctioned marriages. It contrives to deprive some couples married under the laws of their State, but not others, of both rights and responsibilities, creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State. It also forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal law, thus diminishing the stability and predictability of basic personal relations the State has found it proper to acknowledge and protect."

Justice Kennedy was the deciding vote for the 5-4 vote, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan; and Justices Roberts and Scalia wrote dissenting opinions.

The law, instituted by Congress during the Clinton era, had denied legally married gay and lesbian couples more than 1,200 benefits granted to opposite-gender couples.

A majority of the justices declared that same-gender couples are entitled to the same benefits as opposite-gender couples. The case involved 83-year-old Edith “Edie” Winsor of New York, a lesbian widow who was socked with a $363,000 estate tax bill after her wife died. The couple were married legally in Canada before New York authorized same-gender marriage.

The 5-4 majority ruled that the federal government had no right to meddle in marriage issues. Read the decision HERE.

Stay tuned to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News since this is a breaking news story that will be updated throughout the day.

Day of decision events scheduled nationwide

NOTE: A big shout-out to Marriage Equality USA for the following list of events. All of these events will take place today.

San Diego supporters of marriage equality will rally starting at 5 pm at the Hillcrest Pride Flag, located on Normal Street at University Avenue near Harvey Milk Street that leads to The Center. Here, a rally will take place, which will include speakers and a march.

At 7 pm, community members will move over to The Center, located at 3909 Centre St. The tone and mood of the rally and community gathering will be determined by how the Supreme Court decides.

"Either way - join us as history happens," posted Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center.

"Day of Decision" activities in San Diego are being organized by:

SAME Alliance
South Bay Alliance
The San Diego LGBT Community Center
ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Activist San Diego
All Out At City
Alliance San Diego
Canvass for a Cause
Democrats for Equality
Greater San Diego Business Association
Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
San Diego LGBT Pride
San Diego Remembers
The Peace Resource Center of San Diego
PFLAG San Diego
San Diego Party for Socialism & Liberation (PSL)

More information is HERE and HERE.

In North San Diego County, community members are encouraged to gather in front of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center located at 510 N. Coast Highway in Oceanside at 6 pm for a rally.

"Please come in force, this is an historic time and event where the visibility of our families and allies is essential," posted Max Disposti, executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.

More information about the North County event is HERE.

Also in Southern California, the Palm Springs community will rally at 6 pm at the Forever Marilyn statue at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Way. More details HERE.

In Los Angeles, community members will gather at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard at 5:30 pm for a rally. Participants are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to show their patriotism. More details HERE.

In Washington, D.C., supporters will rally at 5:30 pm at Freedom Plaza. More details HERE. There will also be a prayer service at 7 pm at the Washington National Cathedral.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News will provide thorough coverage on the rulings today, and will have a reporter on site at the San Diego "Day of Decision" events.

Day of decision events scheduled nationwide

NOTE: A big shout-out to Marriage Equality USA for the following list of events. All of these events will take place today.


CALIFORNIA

Bakersfield

Time: 5:00pm PDT
Where:
Outback Corner on Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93309
Facebook Event
Contact:
Whitney Weddell (661) 204-3180 chair@bakersfieldpride.org
Info:
Wear your pink “Gay is Good” t-shirt

Concord (Contra Costa County)

Time: 6:30pm PDT
Where: Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, 2118 Willow Pass RD, Suite 500, Concord, CA 94520
Facebook Event
Contact: Leslie Stewart ca-contracosta@marriageequality.org
Info: Meet for bubbles and bubbly - a celebration!

Fresno

Time: 5:30pm PDT
Where:
Plaza of Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St., Fresno, CA 93721
Facebook Event
Contact: Jason Scott (559) 862-4559 & Jaymi Morgan (559) 803-1515 ca-fresno@marriageequality.org

Humboldt County

Time: 6:00pm
Where:
In front of the Humboldt Courthouse, 825 5th St., Eureka, CA 95501
OR:
In the Arcata Plaza bounded by 8th and 9th Streets and 707-601-6042 MAP
Contact: Susan McGee 707-601-6042 SusanGSMcGee@aol.com
Info: Jpeg hand-out to download, print and share

Long Beach

Time: 7:00pm PDT
Where:
The Grand, Long Beach Event Center, 4101 East Willow Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815
Contact:
Ron Sylvester Rylvester@centerlb.org 562-760-8111

Los Angeles

Time: 5:30pm PDT
Where:
West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA
Facebook Event
Contact:
Jane Wishon ca-losangeles@marriageequality.org

Mountain View

Time: 6:00pm PDT
Where:
Mountain View CalTrain Station, 600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View, CA 94041 (Then march to Mountain View City Hall for rally, 500 Castro St Mountain View, CA 94041)
Facebook Event
Contact:
Lisa Liu (408) 741-4821 & Ray Hixson (650) 346-7557 ca-santaclara@marriageequality.org

Porterville

Time: 5:30pm PDT
Where:
At the park across the street from the Porterville City Hall at 291 North Main Street, Porterville, CA 93257
Facebook Event
Contact: Melissa McMurrey (559) 791-8699 ca-tulare@marriageequality.org

Redwood City

Time: 5:00pm PDT
Where:
Outside the San Mateo County Clerk's Office, 555 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
Contact:
Steve Epstein (650) 777-7899 Steve@epsteincentral.com

Sacramento

Time: 6:00pm PDT
Where:
West Steps of the Capitol, on 10th St. between L St. and N St., Sacramento, CA 95814 MAP
Facebook Event
Contact:
Julie Tindall (916) 221-8094 ca-sacramento@marriageequality.org, Shelly Bailes and Ellen Pontac (530) 400-9898 ca-yolo@marriageequality.org
Info: Rally at the Capitol with a dynamic speaker lineup followed by a march to Midtown for a giant party!

San Francisco

Time: 6:30pm PDT
Where: In the Castro, corner of Castro and Market Streets, San Francisco, CA 94114
Facebook Event
Contact:
Alan Eckert 510-334-7868 DayOfDecisionSF@gmail.com
Info: Please do not park along Castro Street between Market and 19th on the afternoon of the event. Since we won't have 24 hour notice of the event, the SFPD can't post “No Parking” signs. If folks are parked along Castro when the SFPD shuts it down at 5:30pm, they won't be able to get out.


NEW YORK

New York City

Time: 5:30pm EDT
Where:
Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St., New York City, NY 10014
Facebook Event
Contact:
Brian Silva (347) 913-6369 bsilva@marriageequality.org

Rochester, NY

Time: 5:00pm EDT
Where:
Washington Square Park 181 S. Clinton Avenue Rochester, NY 14604
Facebook Event
Contact:
Anne Tischer (585) 426-0862 anne.tischer1@gmail.com


Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Time: 6:00pm EDT
Where: Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Facebook Event
Contact: Bob Sullivan (215) 214-9890
Info: This event is being organized by Delaware Valley Americans United, and Bob Sullivan, our PA Chapter Leader, will be participating.


UTAH

Salt Lake City

Time: 4:00pm MDT
Where: Utah Pride Center, 255 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Facebook Event
Contact: Jolene Abbott or Collen Mewing, 801-589-7771 utah@marriageequality.org
info: Rally with speakers organized by Utah Pride.

Additional reading on DOMA

Lambda Legal has a "one stop DOMA shop" HERE.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.