The Supreme Court struck down an unconstitutional key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside.

The court stated DOMA violated equal protection laws by providing benefits to heterosexual couples while denying them to gay couples in the 12 states and the District of Columbia where same-sex couples can marry. President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law during a time when same-sex marriage was not legal anywhere in the world. 

In a 5-4 ruling, the court invalidated a provision in DOMA, which has prevented legally married same-sex couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. 

About 45 minutes later, in another 5-4 ruling, the court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. It said the people who appealed a ruling that the Proposition 8 ban was unconstitutional did not have standing to appeal, so the Supreme Court could not decide the case.

Brown County residents shared their thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA on the Bulletin’s Facebook fan page. The following are a small portion of the comments as they appeared on Facebook:

• The Bible also says we are to abide by the laws of the land. Our laws are governed by the Constitution which states that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain onalienable rights...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All Americans deserve the same rights under the law. To do otherwise is government-sanctioned segregation. — Michelle Kyle Florence

• Very heart sick, as someone who believes our country’s greatness is because of our Godly values!! We are and have been declining, and it makes me sad that we want to reward evil, rather than oppose it! Just maybe the light will shine brighter now. — Janet Dill Wilson

• So go ahead fight to the end. Just know that when the dust settles remember you’re not only fighting against the right to marry you’re fighting against the right everyone has to be happy. Very bigoted. — Ty Harkey

• It’s horrible. As now it can force the church and chaplains in the military to go against their beliefs. The Bible says man and woman — Sean Lewis

• Bible says no killing, murdering, etc yet they are laws we abide by. Bible says man to be with woman, so why not abide by that law too? Humans feel they can pick and choose what laws to live by. Sounds like BS to me. — Kayla Williams

• I don’t give a flip if they get married and I am fine with their getting benefits. I am sick to death of hearing about it, though. With all the important stuff happening right now in our country, from solving the immigration issues to the economy to terrorism...it’s mind boggling that we are all spending this much time and energy on this topic. — Julie Brown

• This is great! About time people opened their minds! They love the same as anyone else, why shouldn’t they receive the same benefits as any other married couples? Because they are gay? Nonsense! — Ashley Mattix

• Actually the ruling should frighten a lot of people, not because of the issue but because of the intent behind the ruling. In simple terms this was brought by a lower court and a governor, who over ruled the rights of the VOTING public. They just set a precedent so any state court or Governor can usurp the voting public no matter which side your on . The door has been opened . Reality can come back and bite you real fast. At this point its still a Set issue so it will be back. — Ronald McClain

• This issue is paramount and a life-altering event for some. Just because it doesn’t directly affect you doesn’t mean that SCOTUS shouldn’t rule on it. — Dana Beckham Garcia

• This decision is being given too much credit tho. It doesn’t mean what many feel it does. All this decision did is put it back in the states hands to decide. This did not decide anything about the legalization of same-sex marriage. It only gives those within states that it is legal the same rights as straight-married couples. It is a big win, but really it is still up to the states who can and can’t be “legally married” — Scott Gurtel

• Give them there on Island and let them do what they want !!!! — Steve Smith