They're here, they're queer, they wanna get married, so get used to it! Yep, the country has taken another step towards making it easier for gay couples to get married. Today, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. It's the first slapdown of anti-gay marriage laws at the federal level. So what does this mean?
The DOMA law has been under attack since it was passed in 1996. What it basically said was that even if a same-sex couple got married in a state where it was legal, another state, where it was not legal, wouldn't have to recognize it. The case decided today doesn't deal with that part (unfortunately). But what this case does say is that federal benefits, such as social security payments, or the right to jointly file a federal tax return, cannot be denied to a legally wed same-sex married couple.
Yeah, it's still a small-ish step. It doesn't make same-sex marriage legal in all states or anything. In fact, it is still banned in most states. However, for those couples who are now married in a state where it is legal, they won't have the federal government stepping in to stop them from getting certain rights and benefits that an opposite sex married couple would get.
It's one small step for gay marriage, one giant step for making a statement about gay marriage. And that statement is that it's going to be legal everywhere. Eventually. Remember when interracial marriage was illegal? The Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional in 1967. That's not that long ago, but those laws seem incredibly misguided today.
The wheels of justice move slowly, but they do move. More and more Americans believe in gay marriage, and it will happen everywhere. Gua-ran-darn-tee it.
Do you think gay marriage will eventually be legal in the entire country?
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