Bravo, Supreme Court! Despite your conservative leanings, equality and justice for all still takes pre-eminence in your decision-making. Thank you!
America took a great stride toward fulfilling its inherent commitment to equality. On June 26, the United States Supreme Court issued two very important gay rights rulings that nullified the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8. The court found DOMA unconstitutional on equal-protection grounds and determined those petitioning the court to sustain Prop 8 did not have “standing” to do so and let the 9th Circuit decision stand.
DOMA being declared unconstitutional brings to an end a very long fight that finally brings fairness and equity to those same-sex couples legally married in that they now are accorded all the federal benefits of marriage that are available to heterosexual couples. The dismissal of Prop 8 by the Supreme Court restores the right to marry in California, bringing the number of marriage equality states to 13.
While we can bask in the glow of victory momentarily, we must not relent in our battle, as we still have 37 states that do not recognize queer Americans as equals, and legally discriminate against them due to the constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. There is much work yet to be done on many fronts, in addition to the freedom to marry before all Americans are equal.
The beacon of freedom and justice shines a bit brighter throughout America after these court rulings. America certainly is a more-perfect union because of the court’s historic decisions. In light of the rulings, the state constitutional bans are now under attack and it will be a short matter of time before they are gone, too.
Koury is the editor of Diversity Rules magazine.