DOMA and Prop 8

Today marks a historical day for the gay rights movement. The Supreme Court ruled today that both DOMA and Proposition 8 are unconstitutional, thereby recognizing gay marriage at a federal level and legalizing gay marriage in California. DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, was instated by President Bill Clinton in 1994. DOMA would refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage at the federal level. With DOMA overturned, married same-sex couples are now granted the same benefits, primarily tax benefits, that married couples are. I am also ecstatic that the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8. In 2008, California legalized same-sex marriage. It was brief, because shortly afterwards, the voters overturned the law by Proposition 8-very similar to the same-sex marriage law in Maine that the Legislature passed and ultimately the voters overturned from Question 2. I think it would have been better if California voters had voted to allow same-sex marriage, similar to Maine in 2012 because I like the ‘majority rule’ argument. What’s also great about this ruling is that other states have to recognize gay marriage-expost facto. For instance, if a same-sex couple marries in Maine and has to move to Georgia for work or for any other reason, Georgia, despite not allowing gay marriage, will have to recognize the marriage from Maine. This is good. States have to do it for heterosexual marriages anyway. Maine had to recognize my parents’ marriage when we moved to Maine in 2004. This is just the next step.

There are going to be so many blogs written about these court rulings. Some will praise it. Some will cry about it. Some will say that America is doomed and that God will show his wrath. Me, personally? I am very happy to see that both of these bills passed. But I’m also happy that this issue is getting closer and closer to being done with. Now that DOMA and Prop 8 were ruled unconstitutional, more and more states, with the obvious exception of the Bible Belt, will legalize gay marriage. Maybe the country as a whole will legalize it so we can finally catch up to the civilized world. The thing is, this shouldn’t be an issue. A person should be allowed to marry whom they love, provided it is consensual.

Look, I get it. I understand. Gay marriage is a problem to a lot of evangelicals. The thing is, though: Nobody is saying that your church will have to marry gay people. You will still have your religious freedom from the First Amendment of the Constitution. And now, the gays and lesbians can get their freedom of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment. They will finally be treated the same as a straight person, under the law, but the states will get to decide on whether or not to allow the marriages. Today marks a historic day for the LGBT population. And it’s about time.