Although parts of the Defense of Marriage Act have been ruled unconstitutional, allowing same sex couples to have access to federal benefits, affecting directly areas such as taxation and immigration, for example, this only applies for couples legally married. The issue now becomes increasing the number of states where same sex marriage is legal.
Throughout the United States, only 13 states allow same sex marriage ( California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) plus the District of Columbia. Other than that, states like New Jersey, Colorado, Hawaii and Illinois allow civil unions.
The next step should be take the fight to the 35 states that prohibit gays and lesbians marriages. Feels like a long way to go, but the rulings yesterday about DOMA and prop 8, which was invalidated and lead to legal same sex marriage in California, seems to have given another sparkle to the battle.
Like expected, conservatives expressed their biased points of view and used religion and tradition as their main argument, saying the fight wasn’t over. They too will bring their full strength to the states, trying to make sure legal marriages are still between a man and a woman.
There was massive support from artists, journalists, fashion designers and all kinds of people towards full equality. One os the hashtags used on twitter caught my attention, #loveislove, particularly because of how true, simple and concise, almost like a child’s observation. Celebrations were seen all over, but specifically in San Francisco, Brooklyn, New York City and Washington. It was just a landmark for human rights and an important step for modern families, something exciting to witness.
According to the New York Times, “President Obama released a statement saying it was ‘a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better'”.
Personally, I hope it is just a matter of time before states starting debating changes in legislation and allowing same sex marriage.
- Couple’s fight for equality continues (kjrh.com)
- Vermont officials comment on DOMA decisions (vtdigger.org)
- Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act, rules same-sex marriage legal in CA (nbclatino.com)
- Marriage Equality Thoughts and Images (carolynmantia.wordpress.com)
- Defense of Marriage Act struck down (wcpo.com)
- DOMA decision means tax changes (bankrate.com)