Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down DOMA’s Section 3 and dismissed California’s Proposition 8 case on lack of standing. These historic rulings affirm that all families deserve equal respect and treatment under the law.
We celebrate today with families across the country that can now access equal rights and recognition from our government.
DOMA created a two-tiered system for marriage that forced exclusion of gay and lesbian families from federal benefits, and California’s Proposition 8 attempted to allow a majority vote to strip away fundamental freedoms of a minority. Today’s rulings from the Supreme Court mark a new direction.
Couples who are legally married in the District of Columbia, California and twelve other states can now access the federal benefits previously limited to straight couples. Many have borne emotional pain and financial instability as a result of this discrimination, and the ruling of DOMA as unconstitutional is a moral victory for equal rights and family values.
This milestone marks a turning point in our movement, but we face a long road ahead as we seek to overturn discriminatory amendments against same-sex marriage in 35 states.
As we celebrate this news with the 93 million Americans who live in jurisdictions with the freedom to marry, we stand with gays and lesbians in the nearly two-thirds of the country that have yet to secure equal rights. The Supreme Court’s decisions rely in part on federalism principles, which means the institution of marriage will once again be defined by individual states. Whether same-sex marriages that are legal in states with the freedom to marry will be recognized by states with constitutional bans on same-sex marriage is yet to be determined.
As people of faith, we are also called to address other extensive challenges including socio-economic disparities, racial justice, health and cultural issues that persist in our community. We will work even harder to secure equal rights in marriage and equality across the intersections of our inequalities and diverse identities.
The Christian movement for LGBT equality has been critical to our progress thus far, and we look forward to working more with each of you as we amplify the voices of faith advocating for equal rights.
If you’d like to write about your reaction to the Supreme Court rulings on the Believe Out Loud blog, email Alison, our Senior Editor today. How have these laws affected you or your loved ones? What is the role of Christian communities in our movement toward equal rights? Click here and share your story today.
If you haven’t already, click here to pledge your support for LGBT equality too.