In a 5-4 decision this morning, the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense Of End-Zone Act (DOEZA), thereby granting gay ultimate players the right to score goals. The move represents a huge victory for the gay-rights disc movement.
DOEZA, passed in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, had imposed a national definition of scoring that prohibited national organizations, like USA Ultimate, from recognizing goals scored by gay ultimate players.
“DOEZA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, for the majority. “Each person has the freedom to score goals as he or she desires, assisted by a person of his or her choosing, provided that that person can get open. The government fails to demonstrate a compelling state interest in preventing gay players from scoring.”
Dissenting from the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia insisted that the issue was “not within the powers of the Court to decide. This is a local issue, not a federal one. Individual pickup games and summer leagues should have the right to determine who may and may not score, and which goals will be recognized for official purposes.”
USAU CEO Tom Crawford weighed in at a press conference immediately following the Court’s announcement.
“We at USA Ultimate are thrilled by the Court’s decision today. For years, USA Ultimate has petitioned the government to allow us to recognized goals scored by our gay players, but until today federal law has prevented it. We are excited to extend full scoring abilities to our gay players, effective immediately. Today is a great day for civil rights.
“Plus, the spikes will be fabulous.”