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DOMA and Prop 8

Today, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA as unconstitutional. And the defenders of Proposition 8 were ruled to lack standing to argue the case. So, in this month of LGBT Pride, two major victories in the struggle for LGBT rights have been won.

Let me do a happy dance.

Still dancing.

Okay, I’m done. While these two decisions are definite victories,the struggle for full equality is not over. Not by a long shot.

DOMA’s downfall paves the way for married same sex couples to have the same rights and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Of course, this only applies to those states that have marriage equality.

The DOMA ruling is the major victory.

The Proposition 8 ruling, though a major victory for same sex couples in California, does not have national impact. At least not from the ruling itself. But the symbolism is immense, I think.

I think it is Rachel Maddow who stated that from this point forward, marriage equality is inevitable. It may take time. There will no doubt be a relatively quick spate of marriage equality laws before progress begins to slow.

What I’m afraid of is that the “blue states” and Democratic leaning “purple states” will have equality while the “red states” will have constitutional amendments banning marriage equality. How long will this potential outcome last?

The momentum has decidedly shifted. But is this shift localized to the more progressive states?

The struggle will be in becoming more successful in those states with constitutional amendments and other forms of anit LGBT legislation.

What can be done to change the minds of the politicos and voters of these states?

Even as marriage equality spreads across the nation, that does not mean that there are myriad other challenges that await the LGBT rights movement. The struggles of LGBT youth and elderly come, often tragically, to mind.

As is so common in every civil rights struggle, the struggle is never over.

Just look at what happened to the Voting Rights Act yesterday.

The struggle continues.


What is amazing, now that I think about it, is that it has only been ten years since the Supremes ruled that Texas’s anti sodomy law (and thereby all others) are unconstitutional.