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On only 1 of today’s gay marriage rulings was the court divided by ideology

June 26, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — In only one of today’s two gay marriage cases did the 5-to-4 ruling break down along ideological lines.

That was the case in which the Supreme Court rejected part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, since it deprived legally-married same-sex couples of federal benefits that went to other married couples.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in that case, joined by the court’s liberal justices.

In that case, Justice Antonin Scalia read from his dissent, in which he ridiculed the majority, accusing them of demonizing anyone who opposed gay marriage as being an “enemy of human decency.” Also dissenting were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

The other 5-to-4 ruling, clearing the way for gay marriage to resume in California, was based on technical legal reasoning, rather than on the issue of gay marriage itself. Roberts wrote that opinion, joined by Scalia and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

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GRAPHICSBANK: US Supreme Court building, over California state map and rainbow flag texture, partial graphic (26 Jun 2013)

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