According to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for the Court, “[t]he federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”This primarily affects married gay and lesbian families in the 12 states (plus Washington DC) that allow same-sex marriage. It will force the federal government to recognize our marriages.
Updated: The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled today that those defending the Proposition 8 case have no standing. That means that the earlier court decision voiding the Proposition 8 constitutional amendment in California has been upheld and apparently same-sex marriage has returned to California!