On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued two rulings addressing same-sex marriages. In the first ruling, the Court struck down a provision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") defining marriage for purposes of federal law as a union between a man and woman. In the second case, the Court dismissed on technical grounds an appeal of a 2010 federal district court ruling invalidating on constitutional grounds a referendum by the voters of California ("Proposition 8") that amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and woman. Both cases are addressed below.
Here are seven key points for church leaders to note about the Supreme Court's two rulings:
First, the seven state statutes and 30 state constitutions defining marriage as a union between a male and female are not affected. Neither of the Supreme Court's rulings addressed the constitutionality of these laws.