Wednesday, June 26, 2013

U.S. v. Windsor

Marriage: same sex: the State of New York recognizes these marriages; (…) federal De­fense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which amended the Dictionary Act—a law providing rules of construction for over 1,000 federal laws and the whole realm of federal regulations—to define “marriage” and “spouse” as excluding same-sex partners; DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment; by history and tradition the definition and regulation of mar­riage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States; the State’s decision to give this class of persons the right to marry conferred upon them a dignity and status of immense import. But the Federal Government uses the state-defined class for the opposite purpose—to impose re­strictions and disabilities. The question is whether the resulting in­jury and indignity is a deprivation of an essential part of the liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment; New York’s actions were a proper exercise of its sovereign authority. They reflect both the community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of the in­stitution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality; by seeking to injure the very class New York seeks to protect, DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles ap­plicable to the Federal Government; DOMA cannot survive under these principles. Its unusual deviation from the tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with federal recognition of their marriages; DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority  of the States; DOMA’s history of enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence (U.S.S.Ct., 26.06.2013, U.S. v. Windsor, J. Kennedy).

Mariages entre personnes de même sexe : l’état de New-York permet ces mariages, qu’une loi fédérale ne reconnaît pas. Cette loi fédérale est jugée inconstitutionnelle par la présente décision. Elle est en effet contraire au principe d’égale liberté garanti par le Cinquième Amendement. Historiquement et par tradition la définition et la règlementation du mariage sont des prérogatives des états. La législation de l’état de New York en cette matière reflète à la fois la compréhension des racines historiques du mariage et à la fois la compréhension de la notion évolutive du principe d’égalité. La loi fédérale précitée viole en outre les principes de « due process » et d’ « equal protection ».

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