The Defense of Marriage Act, as many of you know, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (decision here) and the issue is likely headed for the Supremes. I never liked DOMA and I welcome its demise. Regardless of your view of gay marriage, you have to applaud the court’s support for federalism.
To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.
Mark this as a win for federalism. Unfortunately, state’s rights and the recognition (celebration?) of diversity seems limited to the issue of gay marriage. I would love to see the sentiment universalized (e.g., the war on drugs).