(CNSNews.com) – Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is the “first gay justice” for writing Wednesday’s majority opinion in the Defense of Marriage Act case, after already writing the opinion in two other homosexual rights cases, a Cornell University law professor said.
Michael C. Dorf, professor of law at Cornell and a former clerk for Kennedy, said Kennedy’s legacy is secure.
“If Bill Clinton was ‘the first Black president,’ Anthony Kennedy has now firmly secured his place in history as ‘the first gay Justice,’” Dorf said in a statement. “As the author of Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas and now United States v. Windsor, Justice Kennedy makes clear that he not only accepts, but welcomes the task of writing majestic opinions affirming the dignity of gay persons and couples.”
In the 5-4 ruling in the United States vs. Windsor, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that said the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”
In the Romer v. Evans case, Colorado voters approved a law to prevent any city, town, or county in the state from making homosexuals a protected class. The Supreme Court struck down the Colorado law in a 6-3 decision written by Kennedy in 1996.
In 2003, in another 6-3 vote, Kennedy wrote the opinion for the Lawrence v. Texas case, striking down the Texas anti-sodomy law, and effectively striking down all other anti-sodomy laws.
The DOMA decision did not require all states to recognize gay marriage; it only required that federal benefits go to same-sex couples if they were married in one of the 12 states that recognized homosexual “marriage.”
In a separate case on Wednesday, Hollingsworth v. Perry, the court ruled 5-4 that the defenders of California’s Proposition 8 did not have standing, effectively killing the 2008 voter initiative to recognize only traditional marriage in the state because the state government did not defend the law. It also effectively legalizes homosexual “marriage” for California, a right bestowed on homosexual couples by the state Supreme Court.