July 9th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Agree with judge who says gay marriage ban unconstitutional?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications, a Boston federal district court judge has declared the federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/09/art.gay.marriage.jpg caption=""]
Judge Joseph Tauro says the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act - which defines marriage as between a man and a woman - denies same-sex couples equal protection under the law.

Massachusetts believes the federal ban denied benefits - including Medicaid - to gay married couples; and the judge agreed, saying the ban on gay marriage forces the state to discriminate against its own citizens. Same-sex unions have been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.

The judge added that the federal ban also goes against the long history of letting states set their own marriage laws, which they've been doing since before the American revolution. Judge Tauro says that laws that once barred interracial marriage caused as much debate as the current battle over gay marriage.

Gay rights activists are, of course, thrilled with this ruling... calling it a "landmark decision."

Opponents say they're sure the decision will be overturned on appeal. They call the ruling "judicial activism" and the work of a "rogue judge." Noting that, when voters go to the ballot box, they consistently reject gay marriage proposals.

Nonetheless - it's really worth watching what happens from here. So far the justice department is only saying it's reviewing the decision; and hasn't decided whether or not to appeal it.

But if a higher court were to hear an appeal and agree with the ruling, the impact of this decision could spread. It could also encourage other attorneys general who are against the federal gay marriage ban to sue.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Erin writes:
From a legal standpoint, the judge's ruling is correct: DOMA makes an artificial distinction between married heterosexual couples and married homosexual couples. It treats one set as inferior to the other, and that's a distinction that the Constitution does not recognize.

Mike in Virginia writes:
No, I do not agree. At what point do we undermine every last bit of tradition to make sure that every nontraditional want and desire is fulfilled? Hell, we've watered down Christmas and Easter so much that there is no mention of Christ, or God. Now we want to water down marriage so much that there is no mention of a man and a wife. By allowing solid and important traditions to erode away we are in danger of watering down the entire ethos of American culture, but maybe that's the goal.

Doyle writes:
I agree with the court ruling. My husband and I have been married since 2004, yet even though we have the same type of marriage license as other couples in Mass., we still don't have the same treatment by the federal government that other married couples in Mass. have. It is a two-level system.

Cary in Maine writes:
This issue has always been religious in nature since most who oppose gay rights do so based on a few passages in the Old Testament. Religion should never be the basis for law, especially Constitutional law. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.

Neil writes:
I am a married gay man from Massachusetts. To have the state recognize and welcome my marriage while the federal government rejects it seems an impossible contradiction. I am a married man. I want my husband to have all of the same rights as any other married spouse.

Linda in Arizona writes:
Of course. Anyone crazy enough to want to get married should be allowed to.

Filed under: Gay Marriage
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Chaz, Boston, MA

    Absolutely! It's about time this discrimination ended, and it's nice to see America is a step closer to having truly equal rights for all.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  2. A. Forber

    Whether gay marriage is constitutional or not is a probably matter of debate for legal professionals and politicians. It is clear, though, that a ban on gay marriage is bigotry, an ancient institution your founding fathers did not, apparently, succeed in abolishing.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Conor in Chicago

    Yep. Marriage is an economic contract once you take all of the emotion out of it. You'd think Conservatives would see it that way as well but given their prejudice over gays it's not surprising that they are able to tweak what they think to fit their world view. They do it every day with things like the deficit and big government.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Daniel from Indio, California

    Of course Jack, banning gay's from marriage IS unconstitutional. The so called "social conservatives" can't have it both ways. They're always saying that marriage should be left to the states to decide and the federal government should stay out of our personal lives. Yet on this particular issue, they ignore their beliefs just so they can justify their prejudices and fears at the expense of gay Americans and their families. You know it's true. If they really wanted to protect "traditional marriage" they would ban divorce. They never seem to bring THAT ONE up!

    Good for Justice Tauro. I look forward to Justice Walker's decision on California's PROP 8 soon to further uphold marriage equality for ALL families.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Rico

    Any law that takes away a rights that are common sense is unconstitutional.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  6. Theresa

    I absolutely agree with it! It's always been up to the states to regulate their marriage laws. The Federal Government has no business stepping in and saying that a state has to descriminate against it's citizens, and go against it's own marriage laws.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Kevin of SD CA

    Absolutely I agree that banning Gay Marriage is Constitutional! It isn’t brain science! Gays have invalidated their ability to pro create by their own actions. If they can’t pro create naturally then they do not deserve the right to be married.

    Marriage is an exclusive bond between two people of the opposite sex mainly to create a family. If gays can’t create a family without help from outside their bond then they don’t deserve the same rights as those of us who can originate families if we were lost on a deserted island or the last two people left on the planet! Tell the liberals to quit twisting the facts!

    The bond between a normal heterosexual man and a normal heterosexual woman is the only true representation of pro creation and future civilization. Exceptional consideration to marriage should be maintained, and exclude Gay behavior for these reasons, religion notwithstanding.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  8. John from Alabama

    Jack: Each state has the authority and historial factor to define what marriage is or is not within its jurisdiction. II believe this federal judge is wrong, but it means the US Supreme Court might have to hear both sides of this case. I still believe that states will prevail in the definition of marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Yes. Marriage is NOT about a heterosexual relationship. It is basically a legal living arrangement, affording both parties with rights and obligations. Nothing more than a contract, really.

    Those in the religious right, would claim something more for marriage, but that would be totally inaccurate.

    Doesn't matter what sex, or lack of sexual identity for that matter, marriage is just a contract, between 2 people.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  10. Jim McNeil

    Yes, Marriage Equality should be for EVERYONE, the day of second class citizens is over.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  11. Marlene

    Yes, the Federal government was trying to force Mass. to discriminate. That was the limited scope of the suit. The judge didn't say that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional (that's what I get from the MEDIA reports). Marlene in Mich

    July 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    Jack:: Judges and politicians have too much power.And they think that we don't know anything. They don't give us credit. They are heartless. They change their mind by the hour. Judges and politicians can't say NO to money. and the big shots know it. That is why nothing gets done, Too much money in their pockets That nuns their brains.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Greg M.

    This is a country with all kinds of rights(speech,guns,burning the flag,voting).If gays want to get married they should be able to.There are people with multiple DUI's that still have the 'right' to drive with which innocent people are killed every year.What harm is it going to do by letting gay couples get married?
    Greg M. Largo,FL

    July 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Constitutional or not, Marriage should be for couples of opposite sexes, end of story. Civil Unions should be for gay and lesbian couples. And as far as raising children go, how on earth could gay and lesbian couples do any worse with kids than all those screwed up parents of today and yesteryear?

    July 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Bill Wade

    I agree. Maintaining a separate standard is socially discriminatory and not scientifically defensible. There is no rational reason two consenting adults seeking to be legally married should be prevented from doing so.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  16. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, The Declaration of Independence whick preceeds the Constitution does say something about 'Life, Lberty & The Pursuit of Happiness'. As difficult as the english language can be, I think it's easy to understand.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  17. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    No I don't Jack. I agree with President Obama when he rightfully said that marriage is between a man and woman. Activist judges who ignore the will of the people are making unconstitutional decisions and should be removed from the bench.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Hotpies

    Yes, I agree with his decision.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  19. james s lenon chuckey TN

    Since the power to ban marriages is not granted to the federal government in the Constitution, by default., as per article Ten, such a ban must be unconstituional.
    After those long sea voyages to get to the new nation, any port may have been welcomed.
    Take that part of your country back, all you article ten fanatics.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  20. tom parker

    Yes its illegal,I see that bing gay is just a fad od the day,We need something to small talk they are not serious about a perment relationship,as the same with married people,loving each other, I understand the the gene factor etc.but true relationshis,no

    July 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  21. Ed from MD

    Yes, government should not be involved at all in peoples personal affairs. The only reason they have to be involved is for personal income tax purposes which are also unconstitutional. Lets do away with the personal income tax and put this matter to rest!!

    July 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  22. Larry

    Is equality based upon religious conviction, morality, or values stemming from human rights? I believe they can be a little bit of each, but the over-riding factor should be ‘basic human rights.’ Otherwise the suffering of other minorities has fallen on deaf ears. Interpretation of biblical versus(s) has been used over the centuries to keep other ‘minorities’ subjected to sub-human treatment and second class citizenship (if at all). What greatly saddens me, and at times, frightens me are those individuals who ignore or want to deny basic human rights and privileges for those they seem unfit. Unfortunately goodness, understanding, and ethics have been forgotten, and have been replaced by religious fervor.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  23. francap

    Yes, of course I agree with the judge. Every citizen in this country must have equal rights.

    Escondido, CA

    July 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  24. ben stockton, calif

    when i was in the navy in 1956 we had a then frogman that was strong as an ox. he was also gay . he never bothered anybody and didnt flaunt his sexuality. he was ready to put his training on the line if and when it was needed. idnt know what became of him after i was discharged , but is a was to be int the ocean and iwas in trouble i know he would have done everything to help me.i wish him luck in his life however it may be, even if he is with a partner.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  25. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes I do. Separation of church and state, Jack. Frankly I do not understand why one group of people feels it is their right to force their views and beliefs onto another group of peopple. Many of these are the same one's that complain that government is interfering too much in people's lives alreasdy. Hypocrites!

    July 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  26. pat in michigan

    Yes I do. It does not say anywhere in the constitution "unless" it says "all are created equal"

    July 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  27. Melissa

    Most definitely. The hatred directed toward the gay community is despicable and marriage isn't a religious institution no matter how much the religious people want to think it is.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  28. Kevin in Dallas

    Definitely. I have yet to hear a single legal reason not to allow it. Everything's been a religious reason, and that doesn't cut it in this country.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  29. Carl

    For me, gay marriage is unconstitutional. Marriage is between a man and a woman, end of story. Any judge who would make that ruling is probably gay themselves, sorry if people don't like my view, thats just the way I feel.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  30. Meg from Troy

    Yes I do. This country should have legal civil unions. Those who want a marriage can go to a church for a second, religious ceremony.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  31. Tricia

    Marriage is an economical arrangement, not a religious one. If it was, then only persons of faith could get married and never be able to divorce. Why aren't the religious ones working to ban divorce?!?

    Juneau Alaska

    July 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  32. Brian - Trinidad

    The judge is wrong because he presumes that allowing same-sex marriage was the intent of those who wrote the constitution. No one can say that that was or was not on the minds of our founding fathers.This debate should be about what is the right thing to do today, because to lay claim that the founding fathers intended to allow gay marriage is simply a baseless assumption.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  33. Deborah n Texas

    Yes, I agree with this judge. Any two people or thangs should be able to get married if they want. After all, this is a free country and this is a moral and/or religious issue not a government issue.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  34. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    My only concern is what makes the opinion of one person better than the opinion of another person, I don't know of any where in the constitution that says banning gay marriages is unconstitutional nor can I find it where It says that it is constitutional so it appears that a judge is making this ruling based on what he believes and not anything based on a law.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  35. lance

    that's a no brainer... We have the Constitutionally guaranteed 1st amendment right to...Among other things... The dissent towards homosexuality is based on Religious preference... And our government is supposed to (by law), completely separate Politics and Religion... It's the LAW and it's NOT open for debate... Get off my Constitution... And don't Tread on me!!!!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  36. Gil

    Yes totally agree. All legally-married couples should have access to the same federal benefits, the government can't discriminate.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  37. Ron in Indiana

    If the constitution doesn't say the Government can ban gays from marrying, then they can not ban gays from marrying...

    July 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  38. Lori - PA


    Yes. I believe that no one has the right to tell two consenting adults who they can marry.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  39. Rick Medina,OH


    I personally don't like the idea of abortion, but I like even less the idea of legislating against those who feel differently. I feel the same way about gay marriage. How people conduct their private lives is just that ... private. The government (at any level) does not have the right to pick and choose which benefits of citizenship to bestow based on an individual's choices.

    Medina, OH

    July 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  40. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack it says something about us as a society when we allow people to walk the streets with loaded guns strapped to their sides. But won't allow the gay community a marriage license. I agree with judge Tauro that the ban on the marriage is unconstitutional.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  41. Bitsy, Austin, Texas

    Hi Jack. The ban is most certainly unconstitutional, My partner and I have been together 10 yrs.. As a Gay, Native Texan, who also happens to live in the Absolute, ONE & ONLY COUNTY, out of 254 in the entire state of Texas who approved the Gay Marriage Amendmant, by 60% to 40%. What does Travis County know that the other 253 counties don't? Oh yeah, It must be that Marriage is a civil union. Two People can get married where ever & where ever they choose. Our beaches, a living room, a gazebo, a judges chamber, a drive thru window, underwater, a Prison, you name it, you can get married there. Just because a couple decides to have the civil union blessed by the customs of their particular religions, does not make Marriage a Holy Union. Let me just say to those who think it is a holy union. When you get a divorce, it will be the Judge and the Lawyers in a civil court that will tell the couple what & how their God wants them to split up the possesions and their children. When & Where they will get them and how much will have to be paid in Alimony If it is a Holy Union then your church would be the one to end your Marriage, But they don't, why? It's a civil union.
    Thanks to this Judge, we now have a chance for Civil Equality, and when my disability is taking my life, my Partner of 10 yrs. can be with me and inherit our home and possesions. Here's to hope

    July 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  42. Peg from N.Y.

    Yes, I agree with the judge!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  43. Ben from Boston


    I think the Feds have no business telling citizens that they have to have health insurance and the Feds have no business telling same-sex married people that they cannot have federal benefits even though they are legally married in Massachusetts. I think they are both unconstitutional. So yes, I agree with the judge. Power to the People!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  44. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    You have people dieing in two wars, your economy is in the toilet, your poisoning the whole planet with an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and you want to talk about Gay Marriage? Why do you guys always fight over dumb stuff that you know the answer to? Of coarse the Judge is right. Now why don't you debate the important things going on in America.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  45. Al Bledsoe

    Sure, Jack. Doesn't this also mean that a ban on polygamy is unconstitutional, too, unless a state specifically bans it? If so, the ruling might be a little more landmark for a few old codgers out there in Mormon-land.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  46. Mike in Denver

    Granted I do no have a copy of the Constitution with me, but I really do not remember anything in there about discriminating against same-sex couples.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  47. John Bates

    Why did the trial, sentencing, and comments from the judge regarding the shoe bomber not make it into any national news agency. Judge William Young had some worthwhile comments. To me this would be much more interesting than watching the talking heads speculate about the unknown. Thanks

    July 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  48. Joe R - Houston

    The federal government has no enumerated constitutional authority in article one, section eight over marriage at all. The ninth and tenth amendments reserve unenumerated powers to the states and to the people, but equal protection under the law is constitutionally guaranteed to all people. So yes... I agree that banning any kind of marriage is unconstitutional.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  49. Bertina

    Unless I am a person who lives in Massachussettes, this means nothing. That's right, this law only affects a particular state, not other states.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  50. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Of course it is unconstitutional. Everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law.

    Every time that has needed to be restated, the Supreme Court has done so, for women, for African-Americans.

    Right Wing and Left Wing super attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies are not united on much, but they are in this opinion.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  51. mary lee

    West Bloomfield, Mich writes:
    I think that the DOMA violates the 14th amendment in ways similar to the Prop 8 trial. I think that DOMA was an end run around states that voted to end discriminatory practices and curry favor with the Religious Right wing of the Republican party. I think that the justice department will hold off on filing an appeal until the California ruling is issued. Eventually this whole case and question will be decided by the Supreme Court. Once the Supreme Court rules then the question of individual state laws will be a moot point. We cannot cavalierly abandon the 14th amendment because of religious fervor. Discrimination is against the law period! The states have certain rights but making laws that violate the constitution will not stand. When former conservative Solicitor General of the Supreme Court Ted Olsen says its the clearest violation of the 14th amendment people on both sides of the aisle should pay attention. This is bound to be a landmark civil rights case.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  52. Ed from California

    Is this really that important? Since when did our constitution get the copyright on the term "Marriage"? Would civil union be better? Who really cares! We have been bleeding jobs. More and more homes are going into foreclosure, some people are just walking away from them. Illegal this and that. Our country is in peril and we're worried about who gets married under the term marriage. Who really cares, I sure don't. Get the outsourced jobs back, and get America back to work! Enough of the smoke and mirrors!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  53. Anthony Buehler & J Chandler Werline

    As 1 of the 18,000 legally married Gay couples, the Federal ban is clearly discriminatory and, therefore unconstitutional! If California says we are married, then it is up to the Feds to accept that marriage, regardless of what they may think of it. Until 1996, marriage was exclusively decided by the states.
    This law should have never passed muster.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  54. John, Lake Charles, LA

    You call it gay marriage. I call it sodomy. Disgusting at best!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  55. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Jack, I agree with the ruling. It's a hypocritical position of the federal government to let states have jurisdiction over their marriage law, and then exempt their own benefits from complying with them if they do not like the law. This part of DOMA has always bothered me.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  56. George Samuels

    I recognize that it will take decades before we've read all our Founders' writings, but at this stage, in all honesty and history, isn't any state ban on gay marriage a Constitutional violation of the separation of church and state? How can a state ban gay marriage acceptable in any segment of any faith? Isn't that religious discrimination? Some States permit Christian church services involving poisonous snake handling. Why doesn't the State ban potentially suicidal services?

    July 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  57. George Samuels

    I meant to say – "Aren't those potentially suicidal services?" Don't those same States make suicide illegal?

    July 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  58. Paul Austin, Texas

    Unconstitutional I do not know but if we let them get married and leave them alone I think all this B S about it will just fade away. I see nothing wrong with letting them get married.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  59. Sam

    Every society in history has fallen shortly after homosexuality becomes accepted and embraced: Greece, Rome, and now the modern liberal democracies of Western Europe and the United States of America. When we even start considering this question, Jack we know we're heading towards the end.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  60. bonnie from nj

    What is the problem with this, why do we waste some much time, energy and money on something that shouldn't even be a problem. I actually am against civil unions, I would prefer to see an actual marriage. As a unmarried cohabiting (long term) heterosexual couple, I cannot put my mate on my health insurance or other such benefits. Although I am perfectly aware we have the right to marry should we choose to do so. As Robert Klein says, "they have the right to be miserable too!"

    July 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  61. richard a. winkler

    Sure. If they want to get married, who cares?

    July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  62. elizabeth

    When we support everyone's freedoms, we protect our own. Even if you don't agree or can't appreciate a situation, we live in the land of the free–that includes everyone.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  63. Gloria Lenon

    Somehow, I don't think that the Constitution deals with marriage at all!

    July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  64. Lee

    Tacoma Washington
    Don't agree with the Judge at all. There is no discrimanation going on with the gay marriage ban. If people want to carry on in those acts, let them but do it at there own cost. Talk to the private insurance companies and tell them to change there policies instead of forcing America to bend on its morale values.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  65. Toni from OKlahoma

    Yes, yes, and yes it is called discimination. Even though I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, this judge made the right call.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  66. Thinkforyourself, OK

    No, the definition of marriage involves a man with a woman.

    Let gays call it something else. Careage, pairage, just not marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  67. JOE CE

    There is atendency to say that the law is whatever we think it should be. The judge made his opinion the law/ There is nothing in the Constitution dealing with gay but they are proctected under the Bill of Rights like everyone else. The dedfinition of marriage is up to the a legal jurisdiction and enforced accordingly. I favor domestic partners to cover those not eligible for marriage. This includes gays a well as not sexual partners such as brother & sister, father & daughter, etc. These groups are as deserving as gays but complrtely neglected.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  68. Dennis north Carolina

    Yes, I agree with the judge who said the U.S. government can not ban gay marriage. the founding fathers would agree with this decision plus this was a Bush and republican law.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  69. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    What I think interesting is the the far right wing of the Republican supports a federal ban on gay marriage. This is the same group who opposes federal government control. Apparently government control is fine when it involves something they believe needs to be controlled.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, I have no idea, but I bet the Republicans love it; now they can go backwards to their old stand-by campaign boogey-men issues: guns, God and gays. Its gonna be a long, fun run up to November my friend.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  71. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, No, I do not agree. Those who choose alternative life styles have rights, however, marriage is between a man and a woman. They can call their choice whatever they want to, a civil union, a sexual union, or just plain screwing around. The fact remains that the coupling of same sex couples will never naturally produce offspring with shared genes which makes hetero-sexual "marriage" a special issue. They need to figure out what they want to call whatever they are doing and we'll give them equal rights to "married" couples, they just can't call it "marriage". Get over it!

    July 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  72. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Yes, Jack, because the judge followed the law. Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution so outlawing gay marriage after it was allowed violates the equal protection under the law of legally wed gay couples. It is only "judicial activism" when you disagree with the ruling.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  73. Mysterious, Chicago

    Gay people are never supposed to be married. It's unconsitutional.....to GOD.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  74. Connor, Colorado

    Jack, I completely agree with the Judge's ruling. A gay or lesbian person deserves all of the same rights as every American. I am ashamed to live in a country where so many people want to deny their fellow citizens' the right to marry whom they love. How can so many people ignore one of our country's most basic principles: that all men and women are created equal? It is long past time to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Among our inalienable rights as Americans are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not just for some, but for all.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  75. OBDAG from Appleton, WI

    Yes, I do agree with the judge. While my comment isn't lengthy I feel certain this ruling is bound to get a lot of discussion in the coming days

    July 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  76. Stephanie

    We need a seperation of church and state. Marriage license are issued by the state and the services are also provided by the state. Gay couples are denied that right and I have to agree with the judge. It is funny I am transgender and now I can marry the man of my dreams and get the same benefits as everyone else but 8 months ago I would have been denied them. Yes the ban is unfare. If a church deos not want to recognize a marrige that is their right but don't force your beliefs on me

    July 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  77. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I agree the government sanctions no marriages. Marriage is a covenant with diety not government.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  78. Jane in CA

    Of course it is unconstitutional. Gays are persons, and should have the same treatment as any other person. If a married couple of opposite sexes can file a joint tax return, a married couple of the same sex should be able to also. Why not eliminate all the legal privileges of marriage and treat all persons equally across the board? If you want a marriage ceremony for religious reasons, have one. Just don't expect a secular government to start giving you all sorts of special treatment because of it.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  79. Olga O. Pina

    Everything you do and say in life becomes a written testament between you and God. No one has the right to interfere with your choice to love.

    Government cannot dictate who you are or who you decide to love. For whomever you love, be still and know that He is God.


    July 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  80. andyz

    Gay marriage is a religous issue and not a issue to be legislated. Let's all keep our sanity and keep it out of the courts.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  81. Aminah (Utah)

    I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but the law is the law and a ban is unconstitutional...I have to go with the constitution. I believe in Karma and I don't want my liberties taken away because of my religious views...

    July 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  82. Cheryl

    Absolutely agree.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  83. Emma

    Of course I do Jack. Marriage is a birth right that no human (US citizen or not) should be denied. No matter what beliefs are held by the majority, prejudice is prejudice, especially if it serves to deprive those who hurt no others and have been for most of history mistreated and misunderstood. It's similar very much to "Loving vs. Virginia." What happened? That bias was ended and society became better. Take some time to get to know people and see their POSITIVES instead of unfairly discriminating against them.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  84. Cody

    Why does anyone care what 2 other consenting people do when it doesn't hurt anyone? Oh, right, they believe what it says in some old book and they think everyone else has to believe it, too.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  85. scott

    absolutly he's right we our country is built on "all men created equal" EQUAL might mean something diffrent to some but to me it means everyone no matter if you agree or disagree with their decisions,lifestyle or choice then everyone should be treated the same, fair is fair.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  86. Ed in Harrisburg

    This judge is absolutely correct and G-d bless him for pointing this out and for ruling on it in a decisive way. The opposition to gay marriage are religious zealots with little regard for the constitution unless it favors them. But when it favors others...holy smoke!!! This judge understands apparently understands that the constitution protects the rights of minorities and not necessarily the rights of the offensively loud and bigotted. Thank G-d for the Constitution!!! And, thank G-d for giving the Judge the wisdom to cut through the hypocracy and deal with the issue as a matter of law. You see, I can invoke the love of G-d as well as they can.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  87. Brady Lackey

    Of course I agree. It is simply the right thing decision. Everyone is equal and should be afforded the same rights no matter if you are white, black, male, female, straight, or gay. If not you I feel those do not get all of the rights or constitution promises you should get tax credits and be put on 3rd class citizen tax table.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  88. Christ Loves You

    I have nothing against gay people, but I believe marriage should be defined, only, as a union between one man and one woman.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  89. yahawaha

    Noting voters rejecting gay marriage proposals should not be a concern at all. If its unconstitutional before it is still unconstitutional after voters opinion.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  90. Robert Haas

    Yes, ALL Americans are equal . There must be no discrimination, especially in the meaning of equality in all parts of the law . We are taxed as equals yet denied our personal rights. We demand equality.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  91. Bob

    Banning gay marriage is NOT unconstitutional! Stop playing the 'unconstitutional card' for everything. The only legal marriage is between a man and a woman. Period! Beloit WI.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  92. Bob

    Another bit of irony here – the same people calling the judge a judicial activist are screaming about how the federal gov't is trumping state rights by enacting laws that should be decided by the states themselves.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  93. McKenna E. Middleton

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,

    Yes, personally, I agree with that judge who says that banning gay marriage is unconstituional. The reasoning behind my opinion on this topic is that in the United States Constitution, Americans are supposed to be allowed to be free to speak what is in their minds and hearts and what they believe. Thank you for reading my comment.


    McKenna E. Middleton
    Louisville, KY, USA

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  94. Matthew Armstrong

    The judge was correct in his ruling – denying legal, consenting adults rights that other legal, consenting adults have based solely on their sexual orientation is clear cut discrimination. The idea that 'Civil Unions' are an acceptable 'compromise' is laughable – didn't the Supreme Court set the precedent that "Separate but Equal" was unconstitutional back in 1954 with "Brown V. Board of Education"?

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  95. Hwon

    Yeah, I'd like to note that voters once went to the ballot box to consistently reject interracial marriage. That never made banning it constitutional. Democracy isn't there to allow the majority to enforce bigotry and discrimination.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  96. Manuel Mauricio

    I completely agree with the judges decision. It is long overdue! When are we going to move on with the real problems that our country is facing? Isn't it time that we treat our own citizen's fairly? Everyone who pays taxes should receive the federal benefits that our nation provides. Let's move on.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  97. scott

    I think he is an impatial judge that made a fair an accurate law cited judgment. Listen Jack the votors would have banned 1. freeing slaves 2. women the right to vote . 3 blacks and whites to marry. etc etc do you really judge whats right by this biggotous country, that's what we have courts for,is to look out for minorities! Bravo court system!

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  98. Karl from SF, CA

    Here’s my take on it.
    1. The Constitution guarantees separation of Church and State. Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion. What others do is between them and God and not of anyone else’s business.
    2. A marriage license if a government document and not a church or religious one.
    3. 17% of all marriages are civil ceremonies with no religious connection.
    4. Most countries don’t allow their clergy to perform legal marriages. An example is Monaco where Grace Kelly and the Prince went to the government building for the civil ceremony and then the church for the religious one.
    5. The Constitution is changed only through amendment, not popular vote. What is currently fashionable isn’t always constitutional, like bans on gay marriage.
    6. Finally, judge not lest ye be judged and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The most forgotten phrases in the Bible.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  99. Colin Dean

    Strongly Agree, although I'd prefer to have government out of the business of "marriage" altogether.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  100. Dan

    Dear Jack,

    It is ABSOLUTELY unconstitutional. Those advocates of the constitution's restraints on Government power need to ask themselves if the government should have the power to determine whom one can marry. Since the constitution does not grant the government that power, it must be assumed the Government does not have that power. We have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Does this right not extend to chosing our spouse?

    Dan NY

    July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  101. sally hood

    no , I do not agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is uncontituional.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  102. JB

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  103. Beth

    Of course it's unconstitutional...

    Gov't needs to get out ot the "marriage business" PERIOD. There should
    be state sanctioned unions... call them anything BUT marriage, for legal purposes, inheritance, benefits, etc. Leave the "sancticy of marriage" to whatever church these people belong to / care about.

    Then can these folks just worry about thier own lives and morals and keep thier noses out of mine.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  104. keeth in california

    Defending States' Rights is NOT judicial activism. That's just a convenient fear-mongering label of the religious right, which is neither religious nor right. DOMA trampled on States' Rights. Period. Conservatives can't have it both ways.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  105. Mike G

    This is a very limited ruling; it only applies in states where gay marriage is already legal (and for now it only applies in Massachusetts). Opponents will try to portray this as forcing gay marriage on the rest of the states but it does no such thing.

    Putting aside the rhetoric from both sides, this seems like a very fair decision. All it says is that, after a state has decided what its own marriage laws are, it can treat all of its married couples the same. What could be more fair than that?

    July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  106. The Reverend Rex McKee

    We pride ourselves as citizens as equal under the law...it is the cornerstone of our republic. Yet, time and again we violate that commitment against non-whites, women, immigrants, non-Christians, and gay and lesbian individuals. Jesus invited everyone to the table, thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, the outcast and immigrant. It is unfortunate that we have become so fear based in our culture that we need to limit and exclude the rights and privilege to all. I am quite certain that Jesus would have danced at a Gay or Lesbian wedding, and would not have limited their access to the laws of the republic.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  107. Guru

    Enough of it already, live and let live, neither homosexuality nor gay marriage is contageous. Why dont we all mind our own business and treat others as equals? Atleast the law of this great land should!

    July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  108. brad in Austin

    Yes, I do agree with the judge.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  109. Randy King

    I do agree with the judge. It's time for those who oppose same-sex marriage to mind their own business. Live and let live.

    Eventually gay marriage will be legal in all 50 states and we'll look back on this period in history and wonder what the opposition's problem was.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  110. Marilyn

    Good job Judge Tauro!! Let's hope now the "landmark decision" will stay in place – as it should.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  111. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    I do agree, Jack. If one does not approve of gay marriage, they should not marry someone of the same sex. Likewise if one does not believe in abortion, make sure not to have one. But as soon as we try to tell others what to believe or how to live, that's where the trouble starts.The next thing you know it will be illegal to eat ice cream, Burkas will be required,

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  112. Stephen

    its been the same thing throughout our country's history, judges applying logic to law showing the inherent farse's that are unequal treatment in a country that was at least supposed to stand for the inalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I applaud this logical ruling as any sane person would. It is high time that this particular inequity towards the gay community is rectified. I am not personally gay but that doesn't mean I can't see that gays are people just like the rest of us and just like the rest of us they deserve that inalienable right to wed the one they love.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  113. Robert Werner

    Civil marriage is a civil right – and so fundamental even people on death row have this right. If we believe in the US constitution and its 10th amendment, then marriage has always been decided by the states and shall continue to be so. Any federal law granting marriage benefits to some married couples and not other married couples is clearly unconstitutional. Robert, Rochester Minnesota

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  114. Ken Travis

    of course...it's a no-brainer

    July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  115. Lawrence

    A ban on gay marriage is both unamerican as well as unconstitutional. The truth of this point should be obvious to anyone that is not a religious fanatic or a bigot.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  116. TS37

    Legislatures, state as well as federal, have no business making law that codifies prejudice. With respect to race, the country learned that lesson a generation ago. Now, as then, legislatures cannot be trusted to protect civil rights; they are elected by too many too afraid of change–even when that change is toward fairness and decency. So now it is again left to the courts to speak the truth: no law that deprives another of what it would give to me can be fair or right.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  117. Michael

    Absolutely I agree with the judge. And I think the fact that voters consistently vote against gay marriage would be meaningful in a full democracy, but not so meaningful in a constitutional republic (which we happen to reside). If left to the masses, civil rights laws would never have passed either. It's up to those in the judicial system to review whether there is a tyranny of the majority attempting to trample individual rights.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  118. JENNA

    Do you agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional?

    Of course, banning Gay marriage is wrong.

    Why shouldn't two consenting adults NOT be allowed to marry each other if they love each other?

    And those that bring God into this debate really shouldn't, because America is a secular nation. Our laws are for a secular society. American is filled with many religions and no one religion speaks for all the people. We do not live in a theocracy.

    We need to remember that our Constitution was written to protect the Minority against the Majority. Denial of Gay marriage is a good example of that.

    I am looking forward to Proposition 8 to be overturned as well. As a married straight woman I have no problem with others having the same committed relationship that I have.

    Roseville CA

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  119. Steven Warner

    Thye have just as much of a right to loose half of their stuff in a divorce as anybody else.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  120. Ted

    I find it so curious that conservatives like judicial rulings that give power back to the states or uphold individual rights, except when it comes to some social issue they don't agree with. Personally, I agree that marriage is an issue best dealt with state by state.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  121. Pat Swan

    If the Constitution requires the law to apply to all citizens equally, then the judge is correct. If the Constitution allows some citizens to be denied certain legal benefits (insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance, etc.) then the judge is wrong. Which Constitution do we have?

    July 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  122. Wessley

    Uh-Oh, the state of Massachusetts is trumping Federal Law. I hope the DOJ is planning a lawsuit.

    Wait a minute....I forgot....lawsuits are only directed at states that DON'T pursue liberal agenda.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  123. Cary

    He was right. The original intent of the Constitution was to protect rights. Unfortunately people that want to control the lives of others keep trying to use the Constitution to take away rights. This issue has always been religious in nature since most that oppose gay rights do so based on a few passages in the Old Testament. Religion should never be the basis for law especially Constitutional law. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. It's why establishing a national religion is denied in the Constitution.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  124. Doyle Schroeder - Faust

    I agree with the court ruling. My husband and I have been married since 2004 yet even though we have the same type of marriage license as other couples in MA, we still dont have the same treatment by the federal government that other married couples in MA have. It is a two level system.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  125. Neenenko

    The only thing holding DOMA on the books was judges knew the political backlash they would get if they questioned the law. Now that public opinion is so close to 50%/50% they have less to fear by calling it into question.

    DOMA went against hundreds of years of legal and constitutional prescient in a way that conservatives SHOULD have been appalled by....

    July 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  126. Robert

    I am happy of the ruling and one thing I can say....America is behind in equality compare to other countries in Europe or Latinamerica like Mexico City and Argentina.
    it is time for this country and it's citizen to promote equal rights .
    religious leader oppose when gay people are asking to get married in a City Hall not in a Church.
    On the other hand, heterosexual can go ahead and get divorced one, two or some even eight times like Larry King and it is o.k.
    Is it equal? Of course not

    July 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  127. Mark Yelka

    As long ago as cave dweller times, the need to defend against the "other tribe" was needed to help foster social cohesion. More than any other reason, that is why this ruling will be challenged. The need to dominate is a characteristic of our species.

    Chinese, Irish, Italians, Blacks, Women, and other groups were fashionable in the past as the "other tribe," but not today. Gay people as the "other tribe" are a perfect choice. They *can* hide, therefore we can say it is a choice to be gay, even if it isn't true. So, let's find another "other tribe" that is more deserving to have that unpleasant status and let gay people have all of the responsibilities of marriage that the rest of us have.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  128. Duke,Buffalo

    Unless you know to which section of the Constitution the judge refers, and how the decision relates to that section, your answer pro or con is emotional, not rational. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  129. Mark from Las Vegas

    I agree that the Judge was most likely correct. Each state has it own policies on marriage which is true. The Founders of this country never thought they would have to deal with something like Gay Marriage so it was never mentioned in the Constitution or any laws. The only thing that will stop the Gay Movement now is a Constitutional Ammendment banning Gay Unions. Otherwise, the court challenges will continue and Activists Judges will make new laws. If the Government doesn't appeal this decision will they comply? What will happen if the Government doesn't comply?

    July 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  130. Annie, Atlanta

    Absolutely. We either all have the same rights, or we all risk losing our rights depending on the newest fad in bigotry lurking around the next corner. We Americans always have to have someone to hate.

    And it's funny how its activism when a court is protecting civil rights, but its not activism when the a court allows corporations, US and foreign, to pour unlimited cash into campaigns. Funny how that works.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  131. Carlton Hurdle Jr


    I do agree. We are told that the country stands on 3 major principles, Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for all. Who is anyone to tell a couple that their love isn't real so it won't be recognized? Our principles suddenly change because of an opinion? Hogwash I say!

    July 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  132. Jerry Thompkins


    I agree with the decision. In some areas we are still in the middle ages. We are trying to crawl out. Let's keep trying. Do we really think
    gay people choose the way they are. We must all ask ourselves:
    How does homosexuality impact me? Simply leave gays alone.

    Jerry Thompkins
    O'Fallon, Missouri

    July 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  133. Mike in VA

    No, I do not agree. At what point do we undermine every last bit of tradition to make sure that every nontraditional want and desire is fulfilled? Hell, we've watered down Christmas and Easter so much that there is no mention of Christ, or God. Now we want to water down marriage so much that there is no mention of a man and a wife. By allowing solid, and important traditions to erode away we are in danger of watering down the entire ethos of American culture, but maybe that's the goal.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  134. Alexander Martinez

    Tampa, Florida

    Jack, It's preposterous that other nations are way ahead of us in this issue. We as americans should, by now, have the common rational that a couple-gay or straight, should have equal protection under the law. Reminds me of the racial civil wars of the 1960's. Our decendent's will frown upon this the same way.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  135. Elin Horwedel

    I agree 100% percent. Rights should not be up for vote. Who cares if "the people" voted against it? A right is a right is a right. Period.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  136. Anna Segreto

    We hold these truths to be SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL! Enough said.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  137. Erin

    From a legal standpoint, the judge's ruling is correct: DOMA makes an artficial distinction between married heterosexual couples and married homosexual couples. It treats one set as inferior to the other, and that's a distinction that the Constitution does not recgonize

    July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  138. Jeff

    Let's get real. Most people don't care on way or another, if two men or women want to get married. It only becomes an issue when it involves money (aka benefits). Then people do not want to have their taxe money used to support a union that they find objectionable. If you look at the various relegions, most of them condemn gay marriage. That being the case and people who attend those churches tend to believe/follow the teachings expressed by the church leaders, then it makes sense that many people object to gay marriage. So, let it be. In CA, there has been several issues on the ballot that consistenly have gay marrage being disapproved in that state. Yet they keep trying to get it approved. Sad.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  139. Wendy in Charleston, WV

    I agree with all my heart. In reality, it's only my individual religion's business as to how proper my marriage is in the eyes of God. The government shouldn't be involved in marriages in that respect at all. But they are involved. The government is well in its place to oversee rights of life partners, spouses, whatever. Unfortunately, they've been denying a huge number of citizens a very basic right to live with all the benefits of lifelong union, and to let their children have the comfort offered by a socially recognized parental partnership. It took a long time for the government to recognize slavery for the monstrous evil it was, and this lesser evil, discrimination based on other aspects of biology, will be judged similarly by future Americans.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  140. Raj

    Supporters of gays and lesbians will certainly be thrilled by the decision. Others are disappointed and will call for appeal....as they strongly believe the marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Its purpose is to foster spiritual harmony, fellowship, love, care, family values, unity, friendship and fulfilling intimacy between male and female partners, procreate and to provide a stable and loving environment for the rearing of children and help continuance of generations of the human race

    Suppose you have a gay or lesbian offspring in your family, how do you view it ???

    July 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  141. Lee

    I completely agree. And if we're going to keep bringing the constitution into debates, then let's start abiding by the thing by SEPARATING church & state.

    It's a start!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  142. Phil in Port St Lucie, Florida

    Jack, whenever, "We The People" start defining and instructing us mere mortals on "How, When and Where" we will be allowed to live in happiness, it's time to "create" another "democracy" where we can actually do what we want, so long as we're not causing harm to anyone.
    Any "ban" of marriage of two humans, be it federal or state, IS unconstitutional!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  143. Robin

    Ever since the congress created DOMA, I knew it was unconstitutional. Who do they think they are? So happy it has finally (after many years) been reviewed by the court.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  144. Tom

    Yes, I definitely agree with the decision. Our constitution says ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL. The founding fathers did not exempt any group of peopel with that wording. Gay relationships should have the same legal standing as straight relationships.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  145. Burbank

    Yes, yes and yes. It's unconstitutional to ban gay marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  146. Matt

    I have never understood why anyone cares if gay people get married. No law will ever force you to like gay marriage or force you to let gay people marry in your church. If gay people want to marry at city hall or in a church that welcomes them, why is it anyone else's business? This country was founded by folks who (while I'm sure they despised the concept of gay marriage) believed every person should have equal rights under the law and be as free from government intrusion as possible. If two consenting adults want to get married, why should anyone be able to stand in their way? And, just as important, why should we be able to use the power of the state to deny them equal treatment because we don't like that they have chosen to marry?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  147. Bill

    The constitution could not be clearer, Jack.

    "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." – Amendment 14, Citizenship Rights

    'Nough said.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  148. scott

    There were alot of questions when DOMA was passed whether Congress could limit the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Everybody seems to be basing this on the "rights" of one group or the states, but really this comes down to the power of Congress to be able to limit the recognition of one state's laws, licenses or court decisions by another state. This is not really about any "rights" at all.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  149. Not my president

    Activst Judges have no business denying the will of the people and the voting both that makes their will clear. This is the kind of 'community activitst' that your president is fond of. ....Waiting for a real president to take over in 2012.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  150. Michael

    I think the government should separate itself from the religious institutions in the issue. The govt should approve contracts (call them civil unions) which everyone wishing to have those rights and responsibilities would have to apply for. And then, if someone wished to get "married" in a church, he/she could go to a church that was willing to recognize such a marriage. The Catholic did not allow divorce once upon a time, but that had nothing to do with whether or not the govt recognized the divorce.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  151. Mark Schnitzer

    I do agree with the judge that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

    This country has prided itself on making sure that the civil rights of all its citizens is honored, and when that is not the case making the neccessary changes in the laws to reflect our commitment to civil rights.

    For years now the gay and lesbian community has been denied the basic civil right to love and marry whom they choose. They have, in the past been ignored, mocked, vilified, and in the worse cases even murdered all because of who they love. Finally, there has been steps to correct this great injustice.

    But traditions die slowly, and for those who claim that most Americans are against gay marriage only have to look to our past to see that many Americans were against ending slavery, allowing women and minorities the right to vote, and equal rights for African Americans. But time and intelligent and sometimes risky activism has brought the much needed changes. In forty years from now people will be wondering why it took so long for gay and lasbian individuals to recieve their basic rights as well.

    Mark Schnitzer
    Buffalo, NY

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  152. Joshua

    Yes, the judge is correct in his ruling. Unfortunatly the conservatives want to make government just small enough to fit in my bedroom so of course they're calling it "judicial activism".

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  153. Wayne

    How much time and money are we going to continue to waste on this issue? Equal rights for all. Someone should make a final decision in favor of equal rights and move on. We have bigger problems to solve. No more appeals, it seems like it never ends.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  154. Nate Erickson

    I disagree. It is misleading to compare the gay marriage issue with racial intermarriage issues of the past. No matter how many people claim that homosexuality is not a choice, it is a choice, and immoral. To condone this sin – just like other sexual sins (adultery, beastiality, polygamy, etc) is wrong and this activist judge needs to be held accountable.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  155. wm in Texas


    Who cares who a person is married to? What possible difference does it make? Will Wall Street stop ruining the economy. Will corporations pay income taxes. Will the wars end. And on and on the real issues go while we fiddle as we burn ourselves down. Even Nero would say "enough with the fiddling your whole country is going down in flames."

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  156. Andrew (san diego)

    This judge is rogue, he should be disbarred, we need to go back to traditional marriage..."A property exchange" where the man acquired a wife for land, power, political gain. Now THATS love/Godly Marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  157. Tony from Southport

    I have two members of my family who are gay. I don't want either of them to get married. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Two men or two women may love each other, spend their lives together and receive the same benefits as a married couple. But marriage is not the word for that relationship.... a civil union is one thing, marriage is another.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  158. Dave Pierce

    YES! I do agree with the judge, wholeheartedly. While there are those that say this should be decided in the voting box, they say this only to assure the tyranny of the majority against a minority. Our only avenue to equality is through the judiciary which is forced to uphold the constitution of this great country...and that is that ALL men (and women) are created equally and therefore have the right as American citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For some of us, the pursuit of happiness means marrying a member of our own sex. Any minority right put to the electorate will always fail. If interracial or interreligeon marriage was put to the electorate, neither would be allowed in this country to this day. I am from Palm Springs, CA.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  159. Chris

    Yes, I've thought all along that federal regulation of the definition of marriage (i.e. DOMA) was unconstitutional. The law's author thought it would pass constitutional muster because it only affected federal benefit programs, but this decision makes it clear that DOMA's far-reaching effects (including even precluding naturalization to same-sex spouses) serves no legitimate federal interest.

    BTW – other laws I also think are unconstitutional are Real ID Act's requirements to restrict access to federal facilities, and the principle that you can arrest immigrants (legal and illegal) for not carrying documentation on themselves but let U.S. citizens in the same situation go just for orally declaring themselves to be U.S. citizens.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  160. David Scott Doherty

    Yes I agree with it! Speaking as an adult heterosexual male I literally can think of anything that effects me less! In these days of broken government, oil spills that won't stop, unjust wars that seem to go on forever, broken borders, drug and homelessness problems and record deficits that are going to bankrupt our nation. I could go on and on, but I think there's a limit to the size of these responses, so I'll just end with it's time to worry about something other than if Steve and Jim get married... Who friggin cares!

    Dave from Peterborough NH.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  161. Matt

    ..."Noting that, when voters go to the ballot box, they consistently reject gay marriage proposals."

    To me this argument has no validity. There was a time in this country when voters would of upheld slavery, or upheld the ban on women voting. It was only 46 years ago that people were opposed to the civil rights act (130 in the house voted against it and 27 in the Senate). The majority is not always right, especially when the majority is denying rights to a minority group of people. Right is right and wrong is wrong, just cause of majority says something doesn't mean its right and if it takes an "activist judge" to set things right then so be it. I bet Abraham Lincoln was an "activist President" when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  162. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    No way do I agree the judge himself is more then likely gay and Catholic .

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  163. Norm

    I think that the judge was right in his decision. If two people of the same sex want to get married it's really none of my business. Or anybody else, for that matter.

    St.John's, Newfoundland, Canada

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  164. badpuppy13

    I agree with the judge. At one time, half the country beleived that slavery was okay, needed, and the black man had no freedom or soul. Did that make it right ? Just because you think it is against YOUR releigion, or what alot of people want, does not make it fair or legal. If your marriage is going to fail because two people of the same sex that you will never meet are going to be joined in Holy matrimony, then your marriage has bigger problems than you think.
    Catholics, Babtist, Jews, Adventist, or Pagens.... you can't even agree on how to worship God. How can you justify deny two people the right to leaglize their love for one and other?
    I have been with the same guy for almost twenty years and can not legally get married. But a woman I just met today I can marry. – Only in America. Deland, Fl.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  165. Trace L (Blaine, MN)

    Absolutely! It's about time that equal protection clause is being applied correctly in the GLBT marriage debate. I praise the efforts of these individuals to repeal DOMA and eradicate the viewpoint that GLBT Americans are second class citizens.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  166. twiddly

    Jack, this is such a no-brainer. Of course it's unconstitutional.
    Just like banning inter-racial marriage would be unconstitutional.

    The real issue is homophobia, mostly promoted by bigoted evangelicals [like Ted Haggard and that rent-a-boy minister].

    I'm a middle-aged, white,married, heterosexual male and I have no fear of gays, nor should anyone else.
    My biggest fear is the continuing infiltration of religion into our politics.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  167. Not my president

    Lawyers will lover this decision. They will add to the ranks of their divorcee clients.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  168. B. A. Benson

    I agree with Judge Tauro's ruling declaring the bsn on gay marriage as unconstitutional.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  169. Matthew Armstrong

    Bravo to user "Aminah (Utah)", proving that there are still great people out there that can hold a personal opinion about something, but does not expect that opinion to be forced on anyone.

    I raise my beer to you, sir/miss.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  170. AnimuX

    It is unquestionably unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. Homosexual relationships are only considered "taboo" because of religious and cultural bias.

    As American citizens, gay people have the right to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without being discriminated against by antiquated religious phobias and ignorant bigotry.

    The USA is a secular democratic republic – NOT a fascist theocracy.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  171. Rob Christofle

    Judge Tauro was very smart by applying one constitutional amendment (Amendment #10) to one ruling and then another constitutional amendment (amendment #14) to the other.

    Even if SCOTUS does not see merit in one case, then the other will prevail.

    DOMA is a very weak and embarrasing law. It is now a dead law.

    Further damaging is the fact that the law was not stayed which would make Judge Tauro's ruling effective immediately. This means it's effective nationally even though it was in the Mass. Federal Court.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  172. Joe

    In a word yes.

    I, personally, am uncomfortable with the idea of gay marriage, but based on the first amendment of the constitution and civil rights act gay marriage is protected as a religious belief and can not denied.

    Only a constitutional amendment can ban gay marriage, which is incredibly unlikely to ever happen.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  173. Sean

    Gender should never be considered when validating a persons marriage. It is as simple as that.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  174. Klaus, San Francisco, CA

    I am a gay German who has been legally married to a US citizen (by German law) for more than three years now. So far I can only come to see my husband as a visitor, since our marriage is not recognized by federal law and I don't have a chance to get permanent residency. This ruling is a step in the right direction.
    If you look at straight bi-national couples they can get permanent residency for their spouse right away, even if they married in Las Vegas and have known each other barely 24 hours. That is discrimination at its best.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  175. Mark in California

    God bless people like Aminah, who has the courage to say that her religious views don't trump the constitution. We all have un-alienable rights, and no one has the right to say ANY couple does not have the right to be married. The churches can say what they want, but as long as Marriage is a Civil union, then Stay they heck out of my marriage.... By the way, I'm part of a wonderfully heterosexual 22 year marriage... or is that 22 wonderfully married years as a heterosexual... ahh dang i hate it when it gets complicated.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  176. Charlie

    Of course the judge is right. What sort of country do people think we live in? A place where the government or the voters can do whatever they want to our civil liberties? If the voters approved a law that would cause the enslavement of gay people, would we expect that to be ok too? How is it is ok to to deprive them of certain rights but not others? I thought we were a democracy that believed that all people were entitled to equal protection under the law? Still sounds like we might have a system of arbitrary system of laws designed to subjugate minorities. Didn't our great grand parents fight a civil war to end that way of thinking?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  177. DeCrazy

    "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" wasn't it? A ban on gay marriage is denying people happiness, on of their constitutional rights.
    Of course he's right, Jack


    Everett, WA

    July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  178. Ian from MN

    Absolutely. What part of a "free" country don't most American's understand? Gay Marriages hurt absolutely nobody other than the two concenting adults who decide to enter into them. Gay Marriage WILL be legal in every single state in the union within the next 50 years. Anyone who's against it is as ignorant at those opposed to interracial marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  179. Edward Nashville, TN

    I believe that the states should have the right to decide this issue and not have the federal government make the decision for them. I believe in civil unions as the best compromise.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  180. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Of course he's right–the only people who disagree are self-righteous religious nuts who really ought to learn to mind their own businesses.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  181. Ryan

    Why the hell are we so hung up on what other people are willingly doing together? The religious right are acting like little children who don't want to share their toy. "NO!!! It's MY marriage and you can't play with it." Please, get over yourselves and stay inside. This world is too much for you to handle.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  182. eric

    Marriage historically belongs to 3 groups: those with economic interests (parents, lords of the manor, etc), government, and church. Historically, couples have had the least say in their marriage.

    When couples, state, church, and economics get to feuding, we the the judicial mess we have today.

    I say, the judge was right .... sort of. And so is everyone else ... sort of. Depends on which constituency you represent.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  183. Marilyn

    I think the founders would have put something in the constitution if they had thought it would ever come to this. I think it is ironic that gays have made a campaign of "valuing diversity", yet they don't want hetero couples have the word marriage respect their diversity. Homo and hetero relationships are very different things. We can respect both while having different words to describe them. Hetero couples have valued the word marriage to describe their relationship for centuries. Why can't the gays respect their diversity and find a different way to describe their committed relationships.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  184. Robert in NYC

    Yes, I agree with the judges ruling that it's unconstitutional to ban marriage. You can not deny one group of people this right. It is ridiculous and sad to me that the US is behind so many other countries in this regard and with DADT.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  185. Dave

    Let them find out how much a divorce lawyer costs, just like any other heterosexual.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  186. Bruce

    Agreed. Any restrictions of ordinary behavior are unacceptable. People need to be (massively) free to make choices, and learn from them.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  187. Kevin in Kentucky

    Discrimination is unconstitutional, banning gay marriiage is discrimination so therefor it is unconstitutional, we're GAY and not going anywhere !!!!!! So just get over it and let us get married, it does not effect you and your life.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  188. jeff, alabama

    The judge is wrong. What next ? A woman can marry a cow ?
    A man can marry a bird ?
    Is common sense not relevant anymore ?
    Before you know it two democrats will be allowed to marry
    and have kids !!!!!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  189. Ryan

    In response to the many people quoting scripture or using god to say that gay marriage should be illegal: Religion has no place in this. I respect Christianity, but this decision was about whether or not it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. It's as simple as that. Refusing a certain group of people something that the rest of Americans have access to is discrimination, thus unconstitutional. If we were stopping blacks, or Asians, from marrying, there would be public outrage. It's the same case here.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  190. David Asset

    Yes, I agree that DOMA is unconstitutional. Marriage has always been left up to the States and the Federal Government has no right not to recognize marriages sanctioned by individual states. Conservatives and Tea-baggers who don't like this ruling ought to take a clear, hard look at their position in favor of states rights. They just can;t have it both ways.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  191. Lyn

    Sure do. I am old, straight, and white and I believe we cannot tell people how to live.
    What is the difference, if Gays already live together and cannot live the same kind of life as a married couple who are married in name only? They don't tell married couples that they can't get married if they aren't going to keep their vows.
    Some gay couples are probably more true to their partner than the man and wife are.
    As far as the Religious part of it, we have to let God judge them, we don't.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    This judge is wrong. Allow gays to be life partners and be eligible for benefits but mostly all religions reserve marriage for between a man and a woman.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  193. Doug Ross

    Taxation with EQUAL representation. Some ideas are timeless.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  194. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Polls, schmolls. The Constitution grants no power to Congress to regulate family law, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments protect unspecified rights and deny implied powers. Public opinion is irrelevant to Constitutional questions. Worse – law based on arguments of "sanctity" are an "establishment of religion", so that is unconstitutional too So-called conservatives want Federal judges to stay out of "local" issues, except the one's they want Federal laws about. Where do I start? Ignorance. Hypocrisy. Theocracy. Bull puckey!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  195. Norm

    Every empire in history that embraces homosexuality has collapsed soon after. Rome, Greece, the Ottoman Empire etc. all collapsed. There has to be moral standards to live by for any society to exist. The imposition of self inflicted morals is what holds countries together. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Homosexuality being imbraced is usually one of the last choices before the collapse

    July 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  196. Jeff M

    Is marriage a right guarunteed by the constitution? If it is then the law is unconstitutional otherwise it isn't.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  197. Arthur

    Hey Jack,

    I think this judge should be put on trial! How could he decree such a thing! The people have spoken time and time again about banning gay marriages in their respective states. Parents do enough explaining to their children about all the crazy things going in the world now, the last thing they need to be made to do is explain why 2 women or 2 men have the same rights as their father and mother does!

    This is crazy!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  198. Jerry

    So, we already let them take a word that always meant "being happy" and turn it into a word meaning "being homosexual". Now we're supposed to let them take the word for "being miserable" (married) and twist its meaning all around, as well? Since when does the minority overrule the majority in a Democracy???

    Let 'em have their "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" or whatever you wanna call them, just DON"T call them "marriages"!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  199. Mark, New York , New York

    I am in agreement with this ruling. To think we live in a country that is known for giving it's citizens such freedoms but yet still deny it to people in same sex relationship. I feel it is tantamount to taxation without representation. Should we then give same sex couple tax breaks since they cannot reap the benefits they are paying for compared to their heterosexual counter parts. I say dissolve DOMA and let marriage be decided by states. Countries around the world like United Kingdom, Spain, Australia , New Zealand and a few more have made the step forward. Why haven't we if we are truly and land of the free ??

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  200. Annie, Atlanta

    Mike in VA, who's tradition? Yours? As a woman I'm glad I can now vote, own property, work, make decisions concerning my own body, and not have to obey my husband. We've progressed since we crawled out of the trees, despite people who think like you do.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  201. Judy S

    I agree with the Judge. Who are we to dictate who can marry. We were given our free agency, to choose who we want to love and be with, if there is a judgment, it has to be god who issues it not man.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  202. Mike Brady

    YES! It's unconstitutional! This is not a moral issue it's an issue of rights! Finally we are out in massive proportions and we are NOT going away! Get used to it America!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  203. June Fredman

    The Constitutional issue addressed leaves no doubt that the decision is correct, no matter what personal attitudes are.

    Gresham, OR

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  204. Pat from Portland

    Some of the arguments above are ridiculous. Being unable to pro-create has never been the litmus test for allowing 2 people to marry. Ridiculous. I guess we could dissolve the marriages of those who either choose to not have children, or those who are too old to have children. Totally ridiculous. Besides, we need many LESS people on this planet. A person's willingness or ability to breed should have nothing to do with the ability to marry.

    Although the line between Church and State is getting more blurry by the day, there used to be one. Marriage is really a religious concept. The government (federal or state) has no business butting into it at all in the first place.

    Who will some of you pick on and discriminate against once gays can legally marry? Who will be your target of bigotry and ignorance then?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  205. Frank in Tampa, Fl

    In a country where straight marriages fail some 64% of the time and where a woman and man can marry over a drunken spree in Las Vegas vacation, I find the ban on gay marriage both insane and unconstitutional. I as a us tax payer and citizen want to marry and have the same rights as my twice divorced neighbor.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  206. BJ Zamora

    Geez, as someone who recalls when it was illegal in many of our southern states for people of different races to marry (think how far we've come), it becomes a real question about equality under the law. Who you choose to marry is based on personal choice and a set of qualities you look for in a spouse. When there is a clear financial benefit in being married via the marriage deduction in income taxes, and we no longer legally, morally, ethically prevent blacks and whites from marrying, how can any of us justify legally preventing any two people from choosing, and being financially rewarded for choosing, the person to whom they wish to make a "lifelong" committment?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  207. garc

    The judge is absolutely right. To have ruled otherwise is quite simply discrimination. When will people learn: You can't "catch gay"? Bob and Steve being married down the road will not affect my heterosexual marriage in any possible way. Your child who is genetically wired to be straight could be taught by a school with teachers who are all gay and never "turn gay" if he is not wired that way. Are the opponents simply afraid of their own deeply buried impulses?!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  208. Michael n Seattle

    if this country gave everyone equal rights isn't that part of the freedom that everyone preaches?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  209. Mitchel Coon

    a marriage is between a boy and a girl. Plus you don't even need to be legally married to have a love life.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Christopher

    The judge ruled properly. Why should gays be deprived of the same misery that heterosexual couples endure? Two thirds of the marriages end in divorce & how happy is the one-third that actually stays married? Plus, everyone will have an opportunity to give away half of what they own when they want out. This will be a windfall for divorce attorneys who enjoy taking uncontested divorces & making them into contested divorces where the two lawyers are the only winners. 🙂 Have a happy day!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Clarence

    no i don't think it is unconsitutional they can't if they want to share their belongings then why don't they do a living will

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  212. bella5811

    Strongly agree. Same sex marriage is a legalization of committed unions that already exist and without the legalization, many couples are deprived of certain basic rights.

    The argument that such unions threaten the institution of marriage is ridiculous. The bond of commitment is the heart of any marriage, and if anything threatens that it is the example of public figures who blatantly disregard that commitment at the same time that their rhetoric proclaims the importance of "family values," whatever that means.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  213. John V

    With so many more urgent issues surrounding us, why is this even an issue? Without Gay Marriage, Straight Marriage has certainly been no hallmark of sanctity. Divorce is rampant, televisions shows glorify catching cheaters, children are abused and neglected. Could we possibly do any worse? And in an age where divorce and infidelity is almost an institution in and of it itself, what better people to represent the "sanctity of marriage" than those who struggle so desperately to be granted the very right to enjoy its priveledges?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  214. Van Smith

    I don't know if gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, but it is clearly a bad idea. We have allowed gays in the milatary, some state have allowed gay adoption of children, so why not marriage. I am not gay, and don't approve ot that lifestyle. However, if they want to do stuff that will send them to hell, let them.

    The government has enough to do without trying to get into morals.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  215. Irina

    I agree. Marriage is a civil, not religious right, since it can prevent people from having benefits, such as health insurance and inheritance or complying with their responsibilities, such as child support or taxes.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  216. SLL

    Finally the courts will recognize those words "ALL men (and women) are created equal". It never said only white men, or only straight people. Took them way too long to get even that far.

    Seems we are going to have to drag America kicking and screaming into the real world.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  217. Win Reed

    Yes, I agree with equal rights of marriage for all people, gay or straight. To say that this is the most progressive country on earth, with the rights of everyone being recognized, is a lie if gays are not allowed the same rights straight people are. Other countries have no problem with it nor has MA (remember the outcry when MA first considered it?). Same for gays in the military...

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  218. Diane

    Yes, I agree with the ruling that states that bans against gay marriage are unconstitutional under the law and deny a group of citizens equal rights in accordance with the law.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  219. Doug

    I completely agree with this landmark ruling! It is about time our country start putting its citizens...all of its citizens first.

    I am against letting states decide this issue as well. Our Constitution and other founding documents say all citizens are created equal. If so, this means ALL citizens should be treated... and protected equally as well.

    I find it amusing that opponents are screaming that activist judges are undermining the tenants our our way of life. Just exactly is our way of life? We are such a diverse people that no one tradition can be accepted as 'the norm."

    Nowhere do our founding documents that are the law of the land say "We, some of the people..." I say this ruling is a great thing and long overdue! Change is coming whether people want to accept it or not!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Samantha

    We are denying our citizens their basic rights, having to hide away part of who you are will not make it go away. The issue will not go away as the world becomes more so shall the issue. As an african american citizen who has a rich history of denial se should cconcern ourselves with more important laws against man kind and let the doer of the deed be concerned with his soul

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Mel San Francisco


    even though I understand what DOMA was designed to say. I still think that it does deny equal protection under the Constitution. Gays and Lesbians work in America and are required to pay taxes just as Straight couples. How can we deny rights to tax payers? it doesn't make any sense. If America's going to do this then don't tax LGBT couples because they don't fully enjoy equal rights.What's fair is fair.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Brian

    The fact that states keep voting to reject gay marriage is completely irrelevant. Think about it. If there was a combined vote in Canada and the US as to whether every Canadian should donate $1000 to the US Government, the result of the combined vote would probably be yes – but does this mean the Canadians should cough up the dough? Of course not, because the majority has no right deciding what's best for the minority. Someone has to stick up for them, and good for this judge for doing so.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    Let’s take the moral question out of this debate. Marriage and its benefits are a government function because we, as a nation, felt that it was in our interest to promote population growth. While there are many rights that Gay couples should enjoy, the full benefits of legal marriage, especially economic subsidies should be reserved for those that are producing the next generation. This should probably apply to non-productive heterosexual couples.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  224. thomas

    If righties are looking for small gov't then what gives them the right to tell a gay couple they can't get married, sounds like big gov't to me. That also goes for women and the right to an abortion. Doesen't it say somewhere about the pusuit of happiness....hmmmm.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  225. Angie

    I agree with the Judge. We as Americans can be so hypocritcal and judgement. It is NOT up to us to determinw who / what another person happy in a partner. We don't tell you anyone not to marry someone because:
    – they have psycho parents,
    – if the man / woman is ugly
    – if he / she is or has been a prostitute, murderer, etc.

    Why are we trying to force OUR "supposed" morales on someone else. You can only be responsible for you getting to The Kingdom. You and your opinion or judgement can't / won't affect somone else. If one of these people were dying and / or needed someone to be there to care for you – would their hatred stop them from allowing the kindess of a gay to help them if they had no one else?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  226. Shawn

    Hello Jack,

    I wholeheartedly agree that the federal gay marriage ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory. As an employee of the Social Security Administration, I see this first hand when I obtain and process applications for spouse's an widow's/widower's benefits. It's disheartening knowing that we are supposed to deny any and all applicants who file for benefits if they are the same sex of the deceased, even if they have a valid marriage certificate issued from a state that legalized gay marriage. It's a shame that in the 21st century, discrimination is still openly practiced by our own federal government. Hopefully this is a sign that thing's will be changing sooner rather than later.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Davis

    It's about time...

    My wife and I know dozens of "same sex couples" and believe they are no different than we m/f couples and should have the same rights.
    Reminds us of the story of the two "gay" men standing outside of a restaurant when an obviously hetrosexual couple come out – violently arguing.
    One gay turn to the other and comments, "See – those mixed marriages never work out."

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  228. Todd H. Stevens

    I absolutely agree with Judge Joseph Tauro's decision. In fact, I e-mailed Martha Coakley's office today thanking her for moving forward with this lawsuit back in 2009.
    I look forward to when all gay Americans are equally protected under the law.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  229. Ivan Goldberg

    I've never understood a ban on same sex marriage. Having been Gay since birth (yes Jack, since birth) I always felt I should be able to get married. I am 51 now, I grew up in the 60's and 70's when being homosexual was not spoken of publicly in small towns across America, now all of the sudden the tide is changing? Give me a break, fair is not a new concept and neither is bigotry. You expect me to pay my taxes like everyone else, vote like everyone else, and obey the laws like… well you get the idea I hope.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  230. Brian

    Yes, I agree with this decision. As Americans, we are "ALL" entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." (ALL of us, not SOME of us.) We do not all agree on political issues, economic issues, environmental issues, religious issues, and/or so-called issues of morality. Nonetheless, it is our Constitutional right to live our lives as we please within the scope of the law. This is what makes the U.S. the incredible "Melting Pot" that it has been (and will continue to be) from the beginning of it's 200+ year history. God bless America!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  231. Doug

    I don't have a problem with gay marriage. People should be able to marry whoever they want – same sex, opposite sex, different religion, different race. Get over it.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  232. Hilda Avello

    Yes. I definitely agree. This decision is way overdue. There should not be any continuous discrimination against gay couples and how they want to consumate their union. This benefits no one and harms many.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  233. Kevin Epstein

    It's interesting to me that when a judge decides in a manner that is disagreeable to someone (or a group),they are termed an "activist". When the decision is "favorable" to a group, they are "courageous". What are the homophones so afraid of? Would they also like to restrict religious freedoms? Or others? We as a society should never allow the majority to restrict the rights of the minority. The constitution does guarrantee all citizens the right to life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Why can't we live and let live? For the record, I am a straight married male physician. I am proud of the courage of the judge to offer an opinion based in strict interpretation of the law and not pandering to a homophobic majority.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  234. Lynn Green

    People are people no matter what sex they are. We are all equal and should not be put up for a vote. Get out of the ballot box and use your energy for more serious situations!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  235. Theresa

    I agree with the judge. We have no right to judge people. Whatever makes people happy. Legalize it.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  236. bob davison


    I can't imagine what kind of rational argument anyone could make to justify discriminating against people because they are gay. It doesn't make any more sense than discriminating based on race, religion, or disability. Tolerance of people who are different than us is what makes this the greatest country on the planet.
    Come on America lets put this behind us and concentrate on things that really threaten our survival like the economy, the threat from radical Islam and our own ignorance!

    South Carolina

    July 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  237. Kareem

    Yes I do. If we depended on what the majority would vote we would still have segregated schools, interracial marriage would be banned and minorities (blacks) wouldn't be able to vote, I don't understand why CNN being the most credible cable news station keeps letting people (Politicians) get away with talking about the majority wants when it comes to equal social issues. they beat the drum of the constitution all the time about freedom and liberty but don't stand up to defend it. I guess they are quoting the original meaning of the constitution where every man is considered equal except for blacks and minorities that where only quarter equal

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  238. Marianne

    Yes I agree! It amazes me that people think it is okay to ban gay marriage in a country where people are supposed to be free and equal.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  239. David, OH

    Today the intent of the founding fathers has always been interpreted based on convenience. It is ridiculous to assume that the founding fathers that were so religious will view gay as a welcome idea and an integral part of the freedom they proclaimed. Allowing gay marriage is digging the grave of our great country when we resort to adopting the children of American enemies. We should learn from the experience of Pharaoh and Moses, blood is thicker than water.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  240. Paul miller

    I don't see why we would want to stop people from settling down and conforming to old-fashioned social norms. Both history and the constitution are clear, people have rights, whether you like it or not.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  241. J. Farr

    Yes, I agree. Everything I was taught in school about our country has led me to believe that this is supposed to be the Land of the Free; where everyone is created equal and has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm fairly certain marriage would fall into that last one.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  242. Barry

    The judge should be congratulated and is absolutely right on target. There is too much time, energy and money spent on presumably protecting an institution that straight couples have managed to severely cripple with their over 50% divorce rate. Why should gays pay taxes, often raise children, support the schools and institutions of this country without the federal and state benefits granted to heterosexual couples? There is no logical response other than that driven by lack of understanding and/or hate, not the constitution.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  243. Lynn Vickery

    I totally support this courageous judge; the irony here in California was that the very people who've benefitted from the evolution of civil rights, religious and ethnic minorities, were instrumental in passing Prop.8, which is nothing but institutionalized bigotry. Our judicial system, above all, was designed to protect the basic rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority (or formerly disenfranchised minorities)

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  244. John K

    Jack of course its unconstitutional ..... Gays should have every right to be married . They have the right to be as miserable as most of the rest of us.

    Cushing, Ok.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  245. Rod

    Of course I agree with the judge .. and every American should do the same. Our great country is based upon recognition of and respect for individual rights. LET THE RULING STAND. All states should take note and allow marriage irrespective of gender. It's the American way!!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  246. Miguel from TEXAS

    I believe that DOMA is unconstitutional. The judge is right on in this
    Massachusetts case. These gay couples are married by state law. It's discriminatory that they haven't they been able to receive the same marriage benefits as other married couples.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  247. Brian in Columbia, SC

    Yes, I agree with this decision.

    As Americans, we are "ALL" entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." (ALL of us, not SOME of us.) We do not all agree on political issues, economic issues, environmental issues, religious issues, and/or so-called issues of morality. Nonetheless, it is our Constitutional right to live our lives as we please within the scope of the law. This is what makes the U.S. the incredible "Melting Pot" that it has been (and will continue to be) from the beginning of it's 200+ year history. God bless America!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  248. Kara Kittle

    No, the judge is wrong. He should know that marriage in itself is not a right, but a privilege. At any time the states can not recognize any marriage. If the judge wants a federal law in place the Federal government can then administer the marriages.

    The Federal government cannot establish a religion, so therefore an act that was founded in religion itself as a religious expression of duty and for some churches a sacrament, then the Federal government is overstepping its own boundary of what it can or cannot do.

    And will this then force ministers who are against gay marriage to begin with to perform the marriage ceremonies? The Federal government therefore must regulate who is going to perform the ceremony. So if the Federal government is regulating those marriages then what did it accomplish?

    Marriage is a sacrament to Christians, should the Federal government determine now what a sacrament is?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Richard Wagner

    Marriage is a RELIGIOUS institution. The government should never have become involved in marriage at all.

    If the government would confine its involvement in 'social pairing' to the recognition of 'domestic partner's, solely, much of the furor would subside.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  250. Jim Campbell

    Yes: Render to fairness of government for all the people and let God handle man's screwups.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  251. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    OF COURSE . . . life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness . . . all men (& women), are created equal . . . liberty, & JUSTICE FOR ALL . . .sounds right to me.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  252. Roxann Parker

    I absolutely agree! My daughter is gay and in a loving same-sex relationship.........it's about time she enjoys the same rights as her straight friends and family!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  253. Ken - PA

    I don't see how anyone could disagree. Married folks get more than 700 tax breaks that unmarried couples don't get. Homosexuals don't have the opportunity to get married but, still pay the same taxes so, you bet it's unconstitutional. Not to mention the denial of health benefits. Those that disagree are making a decision based on hate not on fairness.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  254. Mike in VA

    Enough with the rallying cry that a ban on gay marriage is bigotry! How dense. Because I don't believe in the civil unification of same sex partners I'm a bigot? How about I don't believe that gay marriage should be allowed because it undermines family values. Or how about allowing gay marriage opens the door on every twisted desire under the sun to become legal. At what point does allowing everyone the right to do whatever the hell it is they want to do topple this country's morality? I suspect we are very close.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  255. Dane

    Most commentors here say something like, "Marriage is a right that should be guaranteed to any and all, regardless of other's opinions."

    But nobody really believes that, even gays and lesbians.

    Do we think a father ought to be able to marry his own daughter? Or a man marry multiple wives? Or an adult marry child?

    No. No. No.

    Why? On moral, biological, and societal grounds.

    We're way down the slippery slope already....

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  256. bob in welland ont. canada

    Yes,descrimination should always be ruled unlawful.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  257. Briam

    I agree with the judge. It's about time we get off the social issue merry go round and focus our leaders on the most critical problems facing our nation

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  258. Mike Oregon

    Absolutely the Judge is correct. Even when SOME of us have SOME of the rights guaranteed under the constitution at the State level, we do not have those same rights at the Federal Level. What must happen is for the Federal Government to disengage the language of marriage and to implement ALL FEDERAL LAWS and DOCUMENTS to read MARRIAGE and/or CIVIL UNION. I for one do not care what the state or feds wish to call my relationship with my husband, but I insist on full equality under the laws of this land. Stop he descrimination now ! Sooner or later the Supreme Count is going to have to make a rulling on this issue. Let us make it this year, not decades down the road

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  259. Aaron Seattle

    I don't care if it is legal yet or not, I LOVE my boyfriend and he loves me and there isn't a law in the world that is going to change that. I'm happy with what the judge ruled but I want to point out, everyone, that we just want the freedom to love who we choose (of consenting age) and be able to participate in this society just like everyone else.

    How did the song go??

    "All ya need is LOVE, baht dah dah dah, all ya need is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! LOVE is all ya need"

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  260. Greg

    Come on now Jack. This gay stuff is getting a little out of hand. It's gay marriage, gays in the military. We got alot of more serious problems in this country than to fool around with this. We want our military to be the strongest most powerful military in the world. And we're concerned with gays in the military. And this gay marriage thing. Why don't we start with the catholic church legalizing it in their religion? That's where alot of the funny business is going on now anyway.

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  261. Darlene pritchard

    I beleive the judge is right and I think all of Washington should get behind him and support this. It's wrong to think if anything but male and female to breed. I say it this way cause animals don"t even cross those boundies. . And I don't judge the bi-rachal marriages as long as they are malr/female. And I'm a white female 63 yrs. old and 12 grandchildren married 45 yrs.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  262. Robert Negron

    yes. Yes,..A thousand times yes...as a Older Gay male, I've always had w/gay's having to the right to marry...Can't see the Govt. passing up on the extra revenue...But if I want to marry (for some strange reason)...
    I do have the right...read the Constitution...WE all have the right!.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  263. CA Voter

    The only defense of the anti-marriage crowd is "the will of the people." Well too bad for them we live in a country ruled by the Constitution and not the "will" of the people. When would the states of the deep south have legalized interracial marriage if it came down to a vote? 1970? Nope. 1980? Nope 1990? 2000? Never?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  264. Sharon Zingery

    Jack, though the Constitution does not directly address gay marriage, it has long been the source for defending equal rights for all our citizens. The fact that marriage is managed in any way by the government is to protect contracts ... not religious beliefs. Let individual faith groups decide who may participate in their religious ceremonies and permit gay marriage ... they need not be in conflict.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  265. Mike D - Green Bay WI

    The US Constitution can not be altered by the passage of legislation. The only way to change the Constitution is to amend it. DOMA tried to amend the article requiring states to recognize each other's laws regarding marriage.

    DOMA from the very start was unconstitutional. I am happy the court system finally took up the case as such. It is clear it denies the rights of people married in one state to be recognized in other states.

    I applaud the decision. Now let's get past this, recognize that we can still respect each other, and deal with the real issues facing our great nation.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  266. Louse Dandois

    Yes I agree with the judge! I have a niece who has been with her partner for over 30 years, They consider themselves married, and so do I. There isn't a more loving relastionship than between the two of them. When this is overturned I will be the first to dance at their wedding....

    July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  267. Maria

    I agree. I believe that marriage is marriage, and it doesn't matter who is involved in the parings. Do we check sexual predilictions when "conventional" couples marry..i.e. do we ask if he likes fetish sex or has a mistress on the side, do we ask her those questions? Then why are we so concerned w/sexual predetermination? Let's get on w/something really important...like saving children, or puppies or the earth.



    July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  268. Shirley Bailey

    Looking back on the history of our great Country, we welcomed slavery, we denied rights to American indians, we forbid marriage between blacks and white.......and the list goes on. In each case, there was a large number of people who declared their religious values supported
    their positions.

    Today is no different when we want to deny the rights of marriage to
    a committed couple because it isn't between a man and a woman.
    And, even as in our past, this too shall come to pass. The only question will be how much pain will we inflict before recognizing that our gay residents have a right to equal protection under our laws.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  269. GRN, Toronto

    Marriage is meant to fulfill three functions: (a) children for perpetuation of one's family i.e. continuance of generations of the human race (b) fulfillment of responsibilities and (c) friendship and sexual pleasure While gays and lesbians could attempt (b) and (c), function (a) is beyond them. Therefore marriage can only be a union of a man and a woman only. The judge is just wrong.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  270. Len

    Mr. Cafferty, you ask whether I "agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional?"

    You're asking the wrong question. The DOMA does not "ban" same-sex marriage. The DOMA says the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages.

    By having the Federal government state what constitutes "marriage" the judge declared that Congress overstepped its powers under the constitution.

    I agree with that.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  271. Jim

    Jack have the experts show me in the constitution that people of the same sex have a right to get married.The only thing great about gay marriage is that if we all went that route we would have zero population growth in a few years::Hell no;

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  272. Trish

    It is unconstitutionally wrong and morally wrong. A citizen of this country is entitled to all it's rights and priviledges. I don't understand why people are so afraid of this law. If they had a gay relative or friend they would feel differently. Thanks for letting me sound off!!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  273. Kelly

    Judge Tauro got it right. Marriage is best decided at the state level. As the Tea Partiers like to say, "I can't find in the Constitution where the federal government has the power" to define marriage. There are more than 1000 federal rights and obligations of married Americans. If one state approves a marriage, Washington should respect that state's decision.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  274. Mike

    The state should not recognize marriage at all. The state needs to recognize civil unions and the churches/religions can keep marriage. Debate would be over in a legal sense at that point. The argument about gays being able to marry can then be fought endlessly against the religious leaders. Its not like the religions aren't already behind the money involved in these legal fights anyways. If state wants this fight then it needs to recognize that it is clearly in violation of equality rights.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  275. Scott Stodden

    Speaking As A Gay Man For Many Years I Agree With The Judge That The Ban On Gay Marriage Is Unconstiutional! Why Should People Who Are Gay And In Love Be Denied The Oppourtunity To Show There Love And Affection By Getting Married? Its Not Only Unconstitutional But In My Opinion Its Also Discrimination And InHumane If You Ask Me! Sign A Federal Gay Marriage Act That Says All People Gay & Straight Should Have The Oppourtunity In This Country To Get Married And Gay Married Couples Should Have All The Rights As HetroSexual Married Couples!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  276. Lillian

    People do NOT choose homosexuality as their sexual orientation, it is a genetically dispensed state. Think about it: why would anyone choose a sexual orientation which guarantees misery and injustice and moral indignation? To discriminate against those who have been genetically determined to be homosexual is akin to discriminating against people born with brown hair and freckles. The American legal system has no say over genetics, (at this point, anyway), and should remove any laws which discriminate against people based on factors over which they have no control.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  277. Will

    Yes and No. Yes, the Feds can't regulate marriage, that is a state right. And no, because the judge didn't go far enough. The whole idea of Marriage as a legal institution needs to be thrown out. If you want to get married, go to a church, otherwise everyone gets a legal partnership ceremony, performed by a legal representative of the government. Civil Unions are the business of the Government. Marriage is a religious and cultural matter, not a legal one. Separation of church and state.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  278. Bill in Los Angeles

    Absolutely agree... 100%! If marriage is a religious institution, then stop giving married couples tax breaks while at the same time taxing gay men and women to pay for government run agencies that oversee those marriages! You CANNOT have it both ways.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  279. Jan From DE

    I totally agree. Any attorney who knows constitutional law can see how it violates the 10th Amendment. I have told everybody that it cannot get through the legal system and be sustained. It is time that Americans accept gay marriage and put their energies elsewhere.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  280. Joe

    Yes – I agree with the judge. This country speaks with a forked tounge. There is no difference between the marriage of a man & woman or man & man or woman/woman as long as this marriage is made in LOVE that should be all that matters. There is NOT enough love in this country The government doesn't give a hoot about the will of the people. Sometimes I wonder if I have awakened in a comunist state instead of a free country! What ever happened to the Constitution for God's sake!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  281. Bob

    The ban against homosexual marriage should stand. It really offends me that judges are that naive to think the ban is unconstitutional. Do they ever take the time to think about the origin of our constitution and the intent. The constitution was put into place to protect our rights and our values. Marriage is between one man and one woman since this country was founded and shall always be.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  282. John from san diego

    It's funny how Republicans are calling this "judicial activism," especially when the judge himself is a republican appointed by a republican president – Richard Nixon.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  283. David Horger

    Yes I support the judges ruling on gay marriage. In fifty years the people who are against it today will be looked at as being like the bigots and racists that opposed inter-racial marriage fifty years ago. Can't we just all grow up and behave like adults?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  284. Chloe

    Yes,I agree with the judge .I believe it's very unconstitutional because people should be able to marry, who ever they are in love being a woman or a man. samesex couples should'nt have to travel to a different state or country to marry soulmate.Marriage should be a right for every one not only heterosexual couples.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  285. LisaD

    The judge is absolutely right. So Simple!
    The writers of the Constitution "intended" freedom, rights and responsibility. This is only a "debate" because some think it's about how "they feel" about it. Civil rights implies just THAT: we can love and marry–a legal agreement–whoever we want to. What is hard to understand about that?
    Closed, unbending minds and preconceived ideas without considering basic logic and the facts are akin to ignorance and lack of tolerance for peoples' differences and basic rights.
    Thank goodness today, people in a free and civil society can be who they are! Soon they will have the same legal, economical, and basic healthcare rights of everyone else.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  286. Delores Purkey

    Our country was founded upon Biblical principles which our fore-fathers openly honored. If our country continues to disregard godly principles such as marriage being between a man and a woman, we will suffer the consequences. God will not continue indefinitely to bless America if we choose to flaunt our open defiance of His Word. God help America if we continue on this path!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  287. martin from Bakersfield, Ca.

    A lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum resort to using the perverbial "judicial activism" accusation when a specific court ruling doesn't coincide with their personal agenda.
    Viewing marriage from a rational stand-point, if you deny a group of people a privilege that you afford to everyone else-without a legitimate constitutional basis-then it is discrimination.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  288. purple

    Sure, there's no reason for gays not to marry. They have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  289. Lola

    I totally agree with the judge's ruling. This is America, and in America, I believe that if you work for a living, pay your taxes, and aren't a criminal, then you have the right to do whatever the heck you want, whenever the heck you want to do it, with WHOEVER you want to do it with. The whole point of what's great about living in the USA is that no one here gets to tell you what to do and who to love. Not your neighbors, not the government, not the church down the street- nobody. It's what the whole point of this country is about. I'm a straight female schoolteacher, btw.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  290. Aaron from Minneapolis

    I think this judge is right. Why can't any two people get married? We let interracial couples get married, we let illegal immigrants marry citizens why can't we let a man marry another man. I just closed my eyes and saw conservatives cringe at that. So let them get married and be miserable like the rest of us. And wait why can the government tell me who I can and can't marry. Where is the republican cry of small government here?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  291. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    No. A marriage is the joining of man and woman in Holy Matrimony according to English Common Law. If gays want to live together, fine. But it's not a marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  292. Rick

    I agree with the judge.
    He is not "going rouge" or "legislating from the bench" as some would put it.
    His job is to interpret the law and I agree with his findings.
    No law can over ride fundamental constitutional guarantees.
    The equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment is very clear on the matter.
    The constitution would have to be amended before such laws at the federal level could e deemed valid.
    States retain all rights not granted to the federal government.
    The issuing and recognition of marriage licenses is a STATE regulated function. Period.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  293. innocent

    The same way one can not choose to obey or not obey traffic rules without consequences, one cannot choose not to obey God's rule without consequences. Any union called marriage without the natural ability to procreate is against God's commanment. It doesn't matter whether you're a christian or not, you're still subject to the conseqhuences. The judge who overturned this ban is just one of those who will face the consequences of their action at the appointed time.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  294. Mike Pazder

    Of course it's unconstitutional. Only people who are prejudiced against the rights of gay people would even attempt to make the ridiculous legal argument that denying two individuals the right to enter into the legal contract of marriage while allowing others to do so is not denying them equal protection under the law. If popular opinion always controlled what is or isn't constitutional, my wife (black) and I (white) likely still wouldn't be allowed to be married today in many states.

    And aside from the legal argument, if the rational people out there who oppose gay marriage for whatever reason will acknowledge that gay people have always and will always exist, why wouldn't you want to encourage monogamy and stability...isn't that the reason government is even involved with marriage to begin with?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  295. Capt. Tom

    What century is this? Yes it was. Get a grip people. We have real problems!

    July 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  296. Sean Kayes

    It seems obvious that the ban is unconstitutional, even if only because it prevents a designated segment of society from pursuing happiness and denies people equal status before the law. If I or my partner of 27 years were to die tomorrow the one still living would receive none of the fedeal benefits married couples take for granted. Yet, think of this: if my partner married my sister, say ten years ago, and the two never shared a life together or even lived together, she would be entitled to his Social Security benefits. So, a piece of paper certifying their legal but loveless and fake marriage means more than 27 years of love and commitment. It just makes no sense.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  297. Stephen

    Jack – Anything that sets up different classes of citizens is unconstitutional, period. This is where the arguement should end. Clearly though we will spend countless amounts of dollars on appeals and silliness for the next several years – all while people's lives hang in the balance.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  298. Isabel Donovan

    Yes, I consider it unconstitutional. We should as adults have the choice to live our lives as we wish when we select the person we wish to share our life with. It should be our choice, and others should stay out of this decision. Learn to live your own life. That should keep you busy enough.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  299. Rob

    What's next ? Legal marriage between and woman and her dog ? Give me a break. Do we not have any moral sense ? Ban gay marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman

    July 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  300. Joyce

    YES! The Judge's reasoning and decision is based on reality. Legally and factually, his decision is sound. I am confident in time same sex marriage will be accepted, just as we now accept inter-racial marriage.

    July 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm |