In a ruling that directly impacts same-sex married couples in New York, the Justices struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in a 5-4 decision. The law defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
The ruling allows same-sex married couples in 12 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia to be eligible for federal benefits. Those benefits include tax, health and pension obligations.
The Justices also vacated a California lower court ruling on Prop 8, arguing proponents of the law did not have the standing to appeal a lower court ruling to allow same-sex marriage in California. While not setting a precedent nationwide, the ruling allows for same-sex couple to be married and legally recognized in California.
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