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The Real News Panel Breaks Down Supreme Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Gay rights supporter Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. The high court is expected to rule on the DOMA and Prop 8 gay marriage cases. Credit: Getty Images

The Supreme Court handed down two separate highly-anticipated decisions Tuesday regarding same-sex marriage.

Firstly, on California's Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot referendum which added an amendment to the state's constitution that made marriage valid only if between a man and woman, the court ruled 5-4 with Alito, Kennedy, Thomas and Sotomayor dissenting.

In the second decision regarding same-sex marriage, the court ruled 5-4 with Kennedy writing for the majority to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law enacted in 1996 that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states.

The decisions allowing the federal government to now recognize same-sex marriages are expected to have major implications for Social Security, taxes, inheritance, and immigration among other issues. Liberals call the decision equality; conservatives see more government and the allowance of feelings to supersede facts.

"Marriage policy should be worked out through the democratic process, not dictated by unelected judges," Heritage Fellow Ryan T. Anderson wrote on the decisions. "The American people and their elected representatives have constitutional authority to make marriage policy."

Former U.S. Senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said on the decisions:

Today, the Supreme Court failed to uphold two important laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. At the same time, the Court also refused to fabricate a new right to same-sex marriage, as the proponents of redefining marriage through the courts had hoped to do.

Many expected this verdict but on similar grounds to yesterday’s Voting Rights Act decision, around the 10th amendment. However, the cases Wednesday were decided on Equal protection instead.  Does that make a difference long term as far as precedent? The "Real News" panel was joined by Ryan Anderson wednesday to discuss this, and the impact of the rulings at large.

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