|The Supreme Court Logo|
So what exactly is DOMA? It was a controversial ruling, which took effect in 1996, that opposed same-sex married couples to be granted certain legal rights which heterosexual couples had - including tax exemptions, social security benefits and green cards. Section 3 of the Act also stated that the word 'marriage' only meant the union between a man and a woman and the spouse must be a member of the opposite sex, thus blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriage. This was today deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
What about this California Proposition 8 overruling? What's that I hear you ask? The background story to this proposition was that in 2008 California ruled in favour of allowing same-sex couples to get married, but some people (naturally) opposed this and devised a way to block the ruling from taking effect - hello Proposition 8. Basically Proposition 8 was a ballot asking the Californian electorate to answer 'yes' or 'no' on whether they believe their state should eliminate the right for gay couples to marry. The result were that 52% voted yes and 48% voted no. Fast-forward all the legal jargon... to put it simply, this vote overruled the recent law allowing gay marriage in that state and therefore it became illegal again. However today the Supreme Court said that this was also unconstitutional saying it unfairly discriminated against gay couples who wanted to marry, and as such all gay marriages that took place before Proposition 8 will now be fully recognised in the eyes of the law. If you followed all that, well done.
|Love is love.|
It really does amaze me how this act has been allowed to stand for so long when America claims to be a country that accepts homosexuality. It's also sad to hear that, whilst this ruling did come through, it did so only marginally - with a vote of 5-4. There are only 13 states in America that allow two loving adults of the same-sex to get married and form a union under law. The day that we all live side-by-side equal, regardless of skin colour, gender, age or sexuality is still so far away, but this victory is hopefully one of many to come in helping us achieve this goal. Love is love regardless of what gender, and today many gay people in America and elsewhere can have their heads' held high because it's a long-overdue step in the right direction.
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