With a mighty bitch slap of equality...the United States Supreme Court ruled this morning that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!
DOMA was initially signed by President Clinton in 1996 which prevented gay marriage rights on a federal level. Say for instance my amazing hubby Edward and I got married in Illinois (which yes does not have marriage equality yet...YET), we would be denied the countless benefits that are offered to heterosexual marriages. Really doesn't make any sense does it? Then years later when Obama came to office, DOMA was defended by the Justice Department even though President Obama's administration wanted to toss it into the trash. Then a magical thing happened, the Justice Department decided in 2011 that DOMA was unconstitutional and left their defense of the act. The poor helpless little DOMA needed someone to shelter it from the rain, so the wonderful republicans of the House picked it up and nurtured it back to health with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But, to fully grasp this story, lets jump back to 2009. It was a rough year for Edie Windsor (84) who lost her wife Thea Spyer. During her loss, the IRS refused to refund her $363,000 in federal estate taxes that she paid after loosing her wife. DOMA's ugly head helped support the IRS for their decision, and one that would NOT have happened if Edie and Thea were in a heterosexual marriage. Windsor took this as a sign to stand up and fight for the rights of countless others in our "gay family". She sued the government which turned into the case we are talking about today: United States v. Windsor.
In a 5-4 vote (such a narrow vote almost made me vomit from stress), it was deemed by the Supreme Court that DOMA is wrong which would have banned the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages legalized in the states. Justices Kennedy (who delivered the court's opinion), Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan were those that struck this ridiculous "act" down. Justice Kennedy stated, "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to 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, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
Thank you Justices from the bottom of my heart for essentially stating that denying same sex couples marriage rights treats us less than those who have the same piece of paper in their scrap book. Also, let me say right now that a civil union DOES NOT give the same benefits as a federally recognized marriage. If you still believe that, please please educate yourself because you are talking out of your shit hole.
As I write this post, I cry at my desk knowing that my faith in the United States is starting to come back and that I actually have hope for this society. Thank you Edie for standing up and saying, "NO". I am so sorry for your loss and I know that today's decision, while it doesn't bring back Thea, has changed the course of human history. It is because of amazing individuals such as yourself that the younger generation can grow up knowing that their same sex marriage will be supported by the Supreme Court. Edie, I love you (even thought I have never met you) and I consider you an idol and role model for us all!