I was discouraged after yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling effectively dismantling parts of the Voting Rights Act, thus (in my opinion) stoking racism. We didn’t need Paula Deen‘s version of twisted Southern Hospitality to remind us that racism is alive and festering in our country… Unfortunately, the Voting Rights Act is still needed in the South and elsewhere.
But today the Supreme Court majority regained some sanity by striking down part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), overturning the law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples.
“For same-sex couples who wished to be married, the State acted to give their lawful conduct a lawful status. This status is a far-reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people, a relationship deemed by the State worthy of dignity in the community equal with all other marriages. It reflects both the community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of the institution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality.” (page 24/ Majority Opinion)
The Supreme Court also refused to hear a case, effectively permitting same-sex marriage in California. While there is still no constitutional right to same-sex marriages, today’s Supreme Court rulings are major victories for same-sex couples and their families. So, in the words of Gail Collins: happy demise of DOMA day!
And in the words of one of my former students, Jonathan Halldorson, who e-mailed me his celebratory American Sentence (which he told me he composed while taking a short break from studying for the NCLEX exam):
No Mo’ DOMO!
No More H8 with Prop 8!
Now is time to celebrate!