Something beautiful and impacting has happened today. The Supreme Court sent the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) out its door. Gay and lesbian couples can finally receive the federal benefits their marriages entitle them to.
Let us give a round of applause to that.
If you are not supportive of equality, I do not know why you are even on my blog. I appreciate your support for me, but why not support them, too? Homosexuals have come a long way. They have fought long and hard for this turning point in history. This year alone has seen tremendous change and support from unlikely places. President Barack Obama was the first U.S. president to state support for gay and lesbian couples in January 2013. Upworthy posted a short, informative video highlighting a brief history on this struggle.
Today, Supreme Court justices deemed DOMA an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment, as I read in a well-written and informative TIME article by Alex Altman and Zeke Miller. DOMA, enacted in 1996 (fairly ancient federal law), required states to recognize only opposite-sex marriages and restricted federal marriage benefits.
This was Edith Windsor’s main cause, it seems, to initiate a legal suit. Though she was legally married to Thea Spyer in Canada, she lived in New York, so Windsor was required to pay estate taxes on Spyer’s inheritance upon her death. If Spyer would have been a Tim or a Theo, Windsor would not have had to pay a nickel.
Now, however, she is receiving her $363,000 (plus interest) back. A New Yorker shortie posted by Ariel Levy even said Windsor received a call from Obama himself after finding out about her victory.
So what is next? I hope lots more. Only 13 states have legalized same-sex marriage. I think this Supreme Court decision should encourage the other 37 to move forward and progress, too. When it comes to love, why should there be inequalities? I have so many gay and lesbian friends. When there is a significant other in their lives, they love them and treat them the way any straight couple would. If not, better.
However, that is not their only identity. When I think of my best friend (whose name I will not post to protect his privacy), gay is not the first word that comes to mind. Hilarious is. Because before he is gay, he is hilarious. As for another gay friend of mine, I think of fashionable because he can make anything look good. He can rock high socks and short shorts with some old-ass vintage boat shoes (which I might find disgusting on others) and make it look pretty damn sexy.
It is time for these hilarious, fashionable, artistic, thoughtful or whatever-other-positive-words-you-can-think-to-describe-your-gay-and-lesbian-friends people to live their lives. Because above all, they are people, and it is time for us to stay out of it because it really is none of our business. The only times we should get involved is when it is time for us to help them fight the injustice they so often face
And for now, justice has been served.