Wednesday, June 26, 2013

History Made Today! SCOTUS Strikes Down DOMA and Prop 8

It's an amazing day for human rights, equality, and common sense for people everywhere in the US. For one, I am overjoyed that my marriage to my husband, Bruce, is now not only legal in Washington, where we live, but federally protected. Hooray!

I am sharing a note I got from Get Equal that sums up my feelings so well, which, to be honest, are a little bittersweet.

The Supreme Court has spoken.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional in a 5-4 ruling, and Proposition 8 was dismissed due to a lack of standing in a 5-4 ruling. We're working with legal organizations now to more fully understand all the implications of these rulings, but the basic gist is that couples in 13 states (including California) and DC will now have their marriages recognized by the federal government.

While we had hoped that the Supreme Court would issue a sweeping ruling that solidifies what we all already know -- that the right to marry is guaranteed within the U.S. Constitution -- we did not get a declarative, conclusive ruling for marriage equality across the country. We're thrilled for those couples who live in states with marriage equality who will now be able to cement their love and their lives together under the law, but our hearts are with those couples who still live in "inequality" states.

For those of us who live in states that now have marriage equality, we hold heavy hearts knowing that our sisters and brothers who have been left behind by the Supreme Court will continue to live with the burden of inequality. And for those of us who live in those inequality states, we continue to dream of a day when we will, conclusively, win marriage equality.

Today we process and celebrate and even mourn that we didn't get a 50-state ruling, but we also get right back to organizing. We know that this struggle isn't over -- we know that, one day, all Americans will be able to legally marry the person they love. And it's up to us to pick ourselves up, put our hands back to the plow, and work like hell to make sure that every single American from Massachusetts to Mississippi to Montana will soon win marriage equality!

There are 145 local events that have been organized across the country for tonight and over the next few days in order to give folks a place to gather, to process, to mourn, to celebrate, and to organize. We hope you'll head to right now to see what's happening in your area, and to join with others to formulate a plan for next steps.

Of course, we have a lot of work left to do. We need to win employment protections for all LGBT Americans. We need to ensure that LGBT immigrants have a clear and swift pathway to fully participate in the American dream. We need to ensure that HIV and AIDS truly becomes a thing of the past, and that those who are positive have all the care they need. We need to make our schools places of safety and security, rather than places of fear.

Today, we celebrate for those who are tasting equality and we mourn for those who continue to thirst. And we get back to work.

The struggle continues,
Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez and Heather Cronk Co-Directors, GetEQUAL
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  1. You know, the way to open a window for everyone, since 37 states still insist on keeping the door locked, is to push for a "full faith and credit" ruling. If I, as a straight person, got married at 16 in a place where it's legal, and moved to a state where the lower limit is 18, that state would still recognize my marriage. If I married my first cousin in a state where that's legal, then moved to a state where it's not, I'd still be considered married there because they give full faith and credit to the marriage laws (among other things) of other states in the union. Oh, and because I'm straight.

    If we can get the Feds to recognize that full faith and credit should apply to gay marriage as well as straight, then gay people whose states haven't gotten their act together yet could come to Washington (or go to California, or Massachusetts, etc.) and get married, then go back to their home state and still be married. It'd be inconvenient, but at least would let all the folks who should be able to get married if they want to do so, and have all the legal rights and protections and responsibilities of marriage in their home state, even if the marriage wasn't performed there.

    It'd be a good stopgap, at least. :/


    1. That sounds like a very sensible stop-gap, indeed.