On March 26th and 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for two cases that deal with the issue of same-sex marriage for the first time since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996. The first case that was heard was that of Hollingsworth v. Perry or the California Proposition 8 case. The second case was between the United States and Edie Windsor, arguing on the constitutionality of DOMA. Now all that the country can do is to sit and wait to hear the decisions for these two landmark cases which are scheduled to be released in late June.
The Justices could uphold the Defense of Marriage Act as being constitutional. They can also decide that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and overturn it allowing same-sex couples to marry within the state of California only. Or they could make a step forward and come back with the decision that the Defense of Marriage Act is indeed unconstitutional and overturn the Act. Its repeal would be seen to many as a sign that people of any sexual orientation would be put on equal footing and finally reaching true equality.
The founding fathers of our country created amendments to the U.S. Constitution to protect the individual liberties of the people of the United States because they worried that the federal government’s power would become too strong and centralized. The 10th Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1787 to emphasis to the U.S. Government the limited nature of the powers delegated to the federal government and leaving the states and the people whom resided with them free to exercise their sovereign power.
The 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, one reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.” There is no law which allows the federal government to regulate marriage. The States hold the power to regulate marriage for the residents within their borders. The 1996 Congress had no power to create the Defense of Marriage Act and treaded upon each separate States right to regulate its own residents.