Well, I think most of you, my readers, are from outside of the U.S., and therefore not directly affected by this occurrence, but I would just like to announce that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was just struck down earlier this morning by the Supreme Court! It was deemed unconstitutional.
This is a really monumental step on the road of progress and equality for my country, the United States. DOMA is–was–the law that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage legalized by the states. States can still individually make their own laws about the matter on the state level, but thanks to the 5-4 ruling this morning, there is no longer an overarching ban. This was said by Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion: “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. DOMA prevented gay couples whose marriages were recognized on the state level from getting the hundreds of benefits enjoyed by straight couples under federal law.
Like I said before, this is really important. I believe that equality is essential to a functioning society. I have friends who are gay, and this must be so important to them, even more than it is to me. Because this repeal of DOMA means that my gay friends are that much closer to equality, and it is that much easier for them to marry who they love.