Put a spike in it- DOMA is dead. Reactions are pouring in about the five to four Supreme Court decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy declared that the Defense of Marriage Act is dead. While the ruling does not overturn the various anti-marriage equality laws and amendments, it means that any couple can get married in a state with same-sex marriage and have it legal everywhere to the Federal Government.
Openly lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin- the first openly LGBT Senator, added her voice to the ruling saying:
“The debate over marriage equality is about fairness – about whether gay and lesbian Americans deserve to be treated just like their family members, their friends, and their neighbors. It’s about opportunity – about whether every American gets to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success. And it’s about freedom –the freedom to love, the freedom to commit, the freedom to build a family. Most of all, it’s about whether the progress our country has made will be reflected in our laws.
“One thing is clear; people’s views on marriage equality are changing because they believe LGBT family members, friends, and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States.
“Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in two historic cases that reflect the progress we have all witnessed across our country. This progress is defined by the ideal that more and more Americans want to leave to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less.
“The nation’s highest court reaffirmed our founding belief that all Americans are created equal under the law. The Court made a strong statement for equality and freedom, overturning discrimination against gay and lesbian American citizens simply because of who they love.
“While this is a huge step forward for our country, the fight to make America more equal does not end with a Supreme Court decision. There is more work to be done to fulfill the promise of freedom and equality for all – in which America becomes a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law.”
California Senator Mark Leno added in:
“Today’s decisions are defining moments for our country, landmark affirmations of basic civil rights by our nation’s highest court and long sought victories for thousands of couples who wish to honor their commitment to one another through the institution of marriage.
“By striking down DOMA and ending the exclusion of California’s same-sex couples and their families from marriage, the Court’s decisions further fulfill the great promise of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence that all men and women are created equal and as such must be treated equally under the law.
“This day could not have arrived without the courageous efforts of civil rights pioneers who bravely fought for legal recognition of our rights and humanity. Today we pay tribute to them, knowing they have helped pave the way for millions of LGBT people to live happier and more fulfilled lives, which will only benefit their families and the rest of society.
“Today is also an affirmation of the power of coming out, telling our stories and putting love and authenticity foremost in our lives. With legal doctrine, legislative victories and public opinion increasingly on our side, LGBT Americans can finally envision a day where future generations will look back and wonder how this outcome could have ever been in doubt and why it took so long to happen.
“While today’s victories are monumental, we still have much more work to do in order to achieve full equality across the United States and globe. Our struggle will continue until every man and woman can proudly marry the person he or she loves and have that right fully respected under the law.”
Statement by Emily Dievendorf, Managing Director, Equality Michigan, stated about the Supreme Court ruling:
“Today the highest court in the land sided with the voters by supporting the advancement of marriage equality. LGBT families will now have access to over 1,100 federal benefits previously denied same-gender married couples. While the citizens of California will now be able to enjoy these benefits, Michiganders must hold their weddings elsewhere to receive those same federal benefits. They are also denied access to the rights provided by Michigan’s government to other married couples, regardless of where they get married. Equality Michigan is proud to be working with our partners in Michigan and around the nation in leading the effort to get LGBT families in Michigan the equal rights a majority of Michigan voters believe they deserve.”