The US Supreme Court has struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Federal government is now required to recognise same-sex marriages granted by those states that allow gay marriage, and to confer upon those couples the various human rights, financial perks, tax, inheritance and visitation rights that heterosexual couples have always enjoyed.
What a wonderful thing is the United States constitution – or any written constitution – and a Supreme Court that overturns (at the time) populist and discriminatory laws in favour of equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
My personal thoughts will follow; in the meantime, here is Andrew Sullivan’s liveblogging of the day.
12.10 pm. A reader writes:
I am writing from overseas where I live with my partner of 32 years in a sort of self imposed exile. He has been unable to obtain any sort of residency visa for the USA. We have been looking forward to this day. The phone is ringing off the hook and everyone is saying “you’ll be able to marry and come home.” I think I’m going to go light a candle and thank God and all the people who have fought so long and so hard to make all this possible. Bless you.
Bless the souls of those whose courage in extremis gave me and others the strength not to falter in pursuit of their dignity as human beings and their equality as citizens. We did it in part for those we left behind. And part of the reason I am crying right now is…
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