Update 10:30 a.m.: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday determined that the Prop 8 petitioners have no standing to appeal the district court order.
The 5-4 decision was vacated and remanded to the Ninth Circuit Court. The move upholds a lower court ruling that struck down the same-sex marriage ban in California because it was unconstitutional.
"We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to," the decision reads. "We decline to do so for the first time here."
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority, with Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan concurring. Justice Anthony Kennedy dissented, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y./FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday in a 5-4 decision, calling it a “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that DOMA was unconstitutional because it singled out a class of people for recognition and protection.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Antonin Scalia wrote dissenting opinions.
Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut and New York along with 10 other states and the District of Columbia.
DOMA prevented married gay couples from receiving tax, health, retirement and other benefits that are available to married people.