High court strikes down federal marriage provision
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has issued a pair of significant but incomplete victories for supporters of gay marriage.
In one 5-to-4 ruling, the court struck down a provision of a federal law that denied federal benefits to gay married couples. The provision of the Defense of Marriage Act kept legally-married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that go to married couples of the opposite sex.
In the other, also a 5-to-4 ruling, the justices said nothing at all about same-sex marriage itself. But they left in place a finding by a trial court that California's Proposition 8 -- banning same-sex marriage -- is unconstitutional.
That's an outcome that will probably allow California officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the state in about a month.
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