U.S. Supreme Court rulings bolster same-sex marriages

Jessica Dixon Weaver, an assistant law professor at SMU, talked with WFAA News on June 26, 2013, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on federal benefits for married same-sex couples and same-sex marriages in California.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there.

Shortly before the ruling, SMU Assistant Law Professor Jessica Dixon Weaver talked with WFAA News about possible results from the anticipated ruling. Weaver is an expert on laws and policy practices in the child protection and juvenile justice systems and their impact on children and families.

Weaver later said the ruling was “a monumental day for civil rights.”

“U.S. v. Windsor is a definite win for the same-sex marriage movement because it knocks down the federal government’s authority to define marriage as only between a man and a woman,” Weaver says. “The ruling relied on principles of the 10th and Fifth Amendments to say that same-sex marriages cannot be deemed ‘lesser’ than other federal marriages. Most importantly, it makes available to gay couples more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits, including family leave, Social Security survivor benefits and immigration rights. The battle in the states continues, and most likely will evolve over time since the vast majority of the millennial generation supports same-sex marriage.”

More about Wednesday's Supreme Court from SMU experts.

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