Let me try to summarize very briefly the bottom-line results of the gay-marriage rulings by the U. S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2013.

1. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act): The court said that the federal government has to treat people who were legally married in their state of residence as a married couple, even if they are same sex. So married same-sex couples receive the benefits of marriage on a federal level (joint tax filings, estate tax exemptions, military benefits, etc.).  This will benefit same-sex married couples, and couples who receive federal benefits such as military families.

2. Prop 8: The court said that private individuals can’t defend a CA proposition in court, only the State of California can do that. Since CA decided not to defend prop 8 in federal court, the federal lower court decision striking prop 8 down as unconstitutional under the US Constitution will stand. Gay couples can marry in CA. This has no impact on other states or the federal government.

Note: Neither of these decisions addresses the basic question: Do same-sex couples throughout the United States have a right to civil marriage? It continues to be a state-by-state issue.