In a watershed moment this morning after months of deliberation, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA as it is commonly known. In doing so, the court declared that legally-married same-sex couples have all the rights and benefits that federal law attaches to straight marriages. Of course, it still remains up to each state to legalize gay marriage, but this is a huge step in the right direction and undoubtedly a marked precedent that will fundamentally change the discussion of gay marriage in the future. For now, the DOMA provision that says other states are not required to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages still remains intact.
DOMA was adopted in 1996, when no states allowed gay marriage (today, there are 12, plus the District of Columbia). The section voided by this Supreme Court decision previously denied federal rights and recognition to all gay, married couples. The decision came to the highest court after a group of legally-married gay couples, including Edith Windsor, brought a lawsuit against DOMA in Boston.
It goes without saying that we are beyond thrilled about this victorious moments that affects the lives of all of us — our colleagues, our friends, and ourselves. America has its problems, but it feels so good to see what is, to us, a common-sense principle of equality recognized in a legal setting. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to order a gigantic rainbow ice cream cake. (The Los Angeles Times)