LGBT History Month 2013: The Death of DOMA!

26 Jun

Constitution-No-DOMAToday marks a landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court and a victory for the LGBT community.  Clinton’s legacy of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is now dead.  Even now, I am having to write this article through tears of joy!  The unconstitutional, shamefully discriminatory DOMA has finally been put to rest.

The 5-4 decision found Justice Kennedy siding with the reliably progressive Justices Bader Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. The ruling is quite clear, emphasizing that by ignoring state marriage law, the federal government violated the Fifth Amendment. It reads, in part:

The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.

Of course, Scalia and his other school yard bullies  (including homophobic Chief Justice Roberts) voted to keep DOMA intact. They put forward a few different rationales, but basically relied on the “gays are icky” defense.  Sadly, Chief Justice Roberts who holds enormous power, has sent a clear message that he does not intend to treat all citizens equally or equitably.

Congratulations to Edie Windsor, whose steadfast insistence on having her marriage recognized moved this case forward. She is a true hero and her legal team deserves our thanks.

We still have a way to go. The patchwork of state-by-state marriage equality means that LGBT Americans get different rights based on where they live. This decision, however, makes it clear that marriage is marriage. That’s a huge step forward.  Poor John Boehner who spent so much of our tax payer dollars defending DOMA.  Is that a tear I see, Mr. Boehner?

24 Responses to “LGBT History Month 2013: The Death of DOMA!”

  1. Rich McIntyre June 26, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Good news!! Common sense usually wins in the end, sometimes it just takes a while.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Rich, Thank you! And thank you to you and Sharon for being allies! Love to you both, Michael.

  2. Jennifer Carey June 26, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Oh happy day!!

  3. Labyrinth-Living June 26, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I’m so happy for these two decisions this morning. I had not dared hope, but the arc of justice is bending.

  4. Bruce Kestelman June 26, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    It’s a great day and a 1-1-2 week for social justice. Like the breaking of the glass in the Jewish wedding ceremony that reminds us that we must remember that even at happy times there is a legacy of sadness, so too are we reminded with the Death of DOMA decision (clearly a big win). Proposition 8 was punted back to the state. A good thing for now, yet not the sweeping decision that DOMA provided and a window for future attacks and erosion (maybe same sex marriages permitted only on the 5th Saturday of the month in months beginning with J). I think while it could be a win, I’ve rated it a tie.

    Affirmative Action in College admissions was affirmed for the most part, yet the armor chinked a bit (tie), and Voting Rights were eroded a bit (loss). Conceptually, maybe it makes sense to relook because times have changed, yet there is an overwhelming attack on voting rights that will continue to be allowed to erode across the nation and significantly impact the future of democratic governance vs. plutocracy in this country.
    It’s a great day and this cynic has stepped back to celebrate, yet there is still so much work to do. It’s clear that the folks who only want the world to be the way they want with no exceptions and no allowance for differences and inclusion will be emboldened in their attacks. You can almost hear the fundraising letters being written filled with premonitions of the end of the world.
    Celebrate today, hugs all around, for tomorrow the fight must be renewed.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Bruce, first, thank you for being such a strong ally! Second, you are absolutely correct. I was actually thinking about this at 4:00 this morning. I suspect we will have a severe backlash against the LGBT community in the next year, which we need to prepare for as we celebrate today’s victory. I just hope the backlash is not as severe as what happened in France. For today, we just celebrate!

  5. penguinlad June 26, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    This penguin is doing a big ol’ happy dance! The DOMA decision was a strong one, relying heavily on the Fifth Amendment. That should make future legal action in various states much easier. Too bad that the Prop8 decision didn’t create a marriage equality law of the land, but getting California back in the mix is another big win.
    Today is a happy day!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      I’m glad you are celebrating today!!! Yes, congratulations to all the couples in California!

  6. Bob Lang June 26, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    What a TREMANDOUS milestone in history. Congratulation to ALL our brother and sisters who can now enjoy a new trending of the US government to finally recognise we are here and we are also part of “We The People”. I am dancing in joy.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Bob, what a lovely comment! Yes, I hope all of us who believe the words of the constitution are dancing and celebrating today! Us LGBT folk can no longer be marginalized by hypocritical laws! Thank you for commenting.

  7. katybrandes June 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I wondered if we’d ever see the day ~ finally!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Katy, thank you for being such a strong ally! Yes, it is about time. How sad that so much money (tax payer dollars) were wasted for the purpose to discriminate.

  8. Central Oregon Coast NOW June 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Nancy, thank you for reblogging this and for being such a fantastic ally!

      • Central Oregon Coast NOW June 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

        I am so, so delighted for you! Marriage Equality in Oregon in 2014!!!

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

        Nancy, I really hope you are right and that marriage equality finally reaches Oregon in 2014!

  9. Will S. June 27, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Just want to congratulate you, and everyone else who benefits from the death of DOMA. It’s about damn time for this, and I hope Oregon comes to their senses soon!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 27, 2013 at 6:28 am #

      Will, thank you for being a constant ally and standing in solidarity. Yes, let us hope Oregon comes to its senses soon.

  10. Will S. June 27, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    Reblogged this on Will of The People and commented:
    I was going to write about this myself, but why would I, when it’s already been said better than I would have done? Enjoy!

  11. BJC June 29, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    I celebrated the decisions as absolute steps towards greater equality. Still disappoints me that Scalia doesn’t recognize the absurdity of his hateful words. I agree that there will likely be some backlash from the extremists. However, I also believe that the tide will continue to be on the side of justice and the majority of individuals will simply feel that their own views are validated.

    Though there are no immediate legal changes for those of us LGBT folks living in Idaho, it does offer a light of hope in the darkness!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 29, 2013 at 7:29 am #

      BJC, thank you for your comments here. Your last sentence underscores that we must stand in solidarity and support our LGBT brothers and sisters in Idaho and all the other states that continue to marginalize and target us. We who believe in freedom cannot rest!

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