|Photo Credit - Renee Olson|
Yesterday the Attorney General for the United States of America announced that it would no longer defend DOMA in court. DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton states that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized for federal benefits by the US Government.
Further, individual states have passed similar baby DOMAs that basically state that they will not only not allow marriages between same sex couples but also not recognize marriages preformed in other states, in effect voiding the Full Faith and Credit Clause that states that all states should honor and give full faith and credit to those documents and orders by all other states.... as in marriage licenses. We don't expect our citizens to go to each of the states to get married as they pass through it's jurisdiction. We as a group of open minded justice intending people want to say yes, you are married in this state too. You don't have to marry in our state to have those benefits entitled to you by marriage.
(from the statement)
“Congressional leaders must not waste another taxpayer dollar defending this patently unconstitutional law,” said Solmonese. “The federal government has no business picking and choosing which legal marriages they want to recognize. Instead Congress should take this opportunity to wipe the stain of marriage discrimination from our laws.”
A lot has changed in the years since DOMA was enacted. Laws that state that sexual conduct between same sex partners is a crime have been removed. We have seen the repeal of DADT, which will allow Gays and Lesbians to serve openly in the US Military. We have seen other countries around the world and states in our own union granting marriage rights to us. I'm so excited to be living in a time to see all these changes for the LGBTQ Community. I know the road is long, but I'm prepared for the trip.
If you'd like to read stories from the actual people fighting the fight for marriage take a moment to read Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco Hall. This is a collection of essays by those that stood in line and waited to be married before the right was yanked away. My contribution to this was accepted by the editor and published in this collection.
Note, the letter to Congress was just released. It's an excellent read. (LETTER)