In striking down DOMA, Supreme Court does the right thing

Right_Delayed

by John Zangas

SCOTUS did the right thing today when it struck down DOMA, finding it unconstitutional. The decision gives citizens like plaintiff Edith Windsor equal access under the law. After all, she is a tax-paying American and should have full the privileges and benefits which are bestowed on others.

Other countries such as France and Spain already recognize marriage rights for gays. There are 11 countries that recognize gay marriage. People will look back on it decades from now and wonder what took us so long for us Americans to change the law.

The SCOTUS decision in effect recognizes the LGBT community as a class. It is an evolutionary decision in the history of our country. Still, I find it strange that any Justice would dissent from the overall decision.

SCOTUS also punted on Prop 8–they found that the plaintiffs had “no standing” and declined to rule on the larger issue of gay marriage as a right. That means the right to marry has been restored in California, but other states don’t have to recognize gay marriages.

Every state should follow suit in allowing gay marriage, because it is the inevitable conclusion to a protracted struggle for gay rights. LGBT activists will be unable to retreat from the marriage issue, until this last momentous task is complete.

Fortunately, the mountain to climb to equal rights in marriage may not be as hard to ascend as it used to be. The Department of Defense, one of the most conservative power structures in our society, has already moved in the right direction by removing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) from its regulations, thus allowing gays to come out of hiding. They also recognize gay married couples for benefits, and most recently, endorsed open Pride festivities.

Overall, I see the Supreme Court’s decisions as a huge step forward for the LGBT community. I feel a sense of relief for all of my gay activist friends who fought for years for this decision. Now other branches of the government should finish the work of implementing the rights of everyone.

Cool Photo of the Day

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A light projection onto the Supreme Court Building. This week the Court hears arguments on potentially landmark cases involving same-sex marriage.

Gay or straight, a historic Supreme Court moment

On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court hears arguments on cases banning same-sex marriage. The hearings have become a flashpoint for opposing social movements, whose members clashed outside the Court this morning in a highly charged atmosphere. John Zangas of DC Media Group live-tweeted the events.

View the story “Gay or straight, a historic Supreme Court moment” on Storify

Occupy Marriage

Laura Potter and Marina Brown tied the knot at McPherson Park on Saturday morning with Pastor Brian Merritt of Palisades Community Church officiating the ceremony. The couple looked lovingly at one another as they exchanged vows and rings, becoming “wife and wife.”

Pastor Brian, who risks censure for performing the ceremony, read from the first book of John (“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made.”) and from Song of Songs 8 (“Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?”). The Bible, incidentally, was checked out from the public library.

Laura, a retired Army nurse, put in long hours as a medic for Occupy DC.

(Image by coolrevolution.net)