The Supreme Court ruled on two cases today that will change the way traditional marriage has been defined for ages. The SCOTUS judges voted to strike down key provisions in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the voter-backed law that bans gay marriage in California.
In a 5-4 decision, the supreme court ruled that gays married in states where gay marriage is legal can collect federal benefits in all states -- except Utah, which refuses to recognize gay marriage.
The supreme court avoided ruling on the issue of gay marriage altogether. Which means 36 states can still ban gay marriage.
On Prop 8, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of California can vacate and remand the decision, essentially ignoring voters who disapproved of gay marriage.
Meanwhile, here's an article that you won't hear much about in the mainstream media: a gay man and his brother have been charged with killing a woman to cash in on her insurance policy.
Update: Earlier I noted that gays who marry in states where gay marriage is legal will be recognized in all states as a result of today's supreme court ruling. That was incorrect. States where gay marriage is not legal do not have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
Cook County (Chicago) prosecutors say Darron Brewer, 26, and his brother Dujuan Powe, 22, planned and executed a plot to ambush and kill Brewer's wife, Kenyatae Collier-Brewer, 22, in 2009. The men are on trial for murder this week in Cook County.
Prosecutors allege that Brewer "decided" he was gay and was no longer in love with his wife with whom he had 2 children. Brewer decided to kill Kenyatae and collect on her insurance policy rather than divorce her. At the time of her death, Collier-Brewer worked for the U.S. National Guard.
Those benefits "were about to end because their marriage was going to end," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Allen said Monday in his opening statements. He added that jurors would hear testimony from Brewer's "gay boyfriend."
"Greed is the only word to describe why Kenyatae had to die," Allen said.
Allen said Brewer's brother, Powe, planned to kill Collier-Brewer at her home in the 3700 block of West Belden Avenue by choking her to death. But when he saw her come out of the bathroom, he couldn't bring himself to kill her. So they had "consensual" sex instead. Collier-Brewer later told her husband she was raped by Powe.
The two brothers then plotted a fake carjacking.
On Oct. 25, 2009, Collier-Brewer picked up Brewer and their children on the South Side and drove them to their home on the West Side. At some point, Brewer got behind the wheel of the car while his wife, who had just gotten off work, napped on the passenger side.
According to DNAinfo.com, Brewer took a detour and pulled into a gas station at 59th Street and Racine Avenue, about a mile away for home.
That's where, Allen says, Powe, wearing a mask from the movie "Scream," ambushed the family and forced Collier-Brewer into the trunk at gunpoint.
The gas station's surveillance video shows Brewer was complicit in the murder plot. Instead of fighting off the carjacker, he is seen rearranging items in the trunk so his wife could lay down in the trunk.
"You'll see [Brewer] rearrange items in the trunk that will become her coffin," Allen told the jury. "You'll see the fake carjacking go down."
Brewer later reported his wife missing and he gave police the location of the car. Police found Collier-Brewer's body in the trunk. She was shot twice in the head.
Police later found the murder weapon stuffed between mattresses at the home of Powe's girlfriend.
"[Brewer] planned it, and then did it," Allen said, asking jurors to find both men guilty of Collier-Brewer's murder.
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