Technically, it struck down Section 3 of DoMA, which prohibits federal benefits from being provided for same-sex couples married in states that allow same-sex marriage. Section 2, which allows individual states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, is still in effect. The whole thing is under a temporary stay until the Supreme Court gets a crack at it; I assume that this will happen… soonish.
I have what can be fairly called a cynical and perverse position on this issue. I favor SSM, as most of you know. I also think that DoMA is blatantly unconstitutional, given that it really is in flagrant violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. But it’s always been my opinion that if DoMA is completely thrown out then we’re going to see it promptly turned into a Constitutional amendment and ratified with dizzying speed. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario? A Federal Marriage Amendment*. Which means that I’m stuck tacitly supporting a bad law because I’m more afraid of the alternative. Ach, this Fallen world!
But enough about my problems; the question is, will the courts throw out everything, part of it, or none? …I suspect that Section 3 is going to be gone; and that the courts will resolutely decline to not address Section 2. I think that this means that we’ll end up with another state/federal headache where gay couples will be in this weird Schrodinger married/not married state, depending on who’s doing the paperwork – but then, nobody asked me to fix the situation for them**.
*I’m well aware that a number of my readers would reverse ‘best’ and ‘worst’ in those two sentences. Such is life.
**Essentially? Civil unions that provide the same official tax and government benefits; a conscience exemption that explicitly includes the right of private individuals and groups to refuse services; and a blunt Life Is Not Fair to everybody who objects to either the first or the second points. And you don’t have to tell me that almost nobody likes that solution; even my wife feels that I’m being unreasonable. Believe you me, I’m used to being out in the weeds on this one.