The Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and to let stand a California ruling allowing gay marriage in that state transfers the fight for marriage to the states, Professor David S. Cohen said on Philadelphia’s CBS-3 on June 26.
The court’s ruling on DOMA forces the federal government to recognize marriages in all states, whether the parties involved are same-sex or heterosexual, Cohen said.
But a majority of the court said the justices lack standing to rule on California’s Proposition 8, which barred gay marriage in the state, Cohen said, explaining that the finding lets stand a trial court decision that overturned the ban.
“We still have to address the issue of whether a state can ban same-sex marriage,” Cohen said, noting that states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have yet to legalize same-sex marriage. “ The project for complete equality is still in progress because we still need to make sure that people can marry anywhere they live, regardless of who they love.”
Also interviewed on FOX-40 in Sacramento, Calif., Cohen noted that the ruling in the DOMA case specifically cited the importance of marriage, suggesting that the justices are prepared to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, when a ripe case comes before them.
"The writing's on the wall," Cohen said.