This morning marked a huge step in the equality of Americans. DOMA, the Defense Of Marriage Act, was enacted in 1996 under the Clinton administration and ruled the federal government would not recognize same-sex marriages even if they’re legally wed in a state that allows it. How weird to make a public commitment to your partner, friends, family, and state only for the country at large to ignore you exist. 17 years later, the Supreme Court says that act is unconstitutional. This is sure to be marked as a historic day. How do you feel about this and how will it change your daily life?
For many, this day is an emotional one. Having fought painstakingly for years holding events and attending rallies to promote awareness, millions of people across this country will be affected. Chances are this is a very big deal to someone very close to you. It may very well be written in history and taught to our children in school. In short, it’s a big deal. America is a country that’s founded itself as a mixing pot that excepts all colors, creeds, and orientations. This is another step towards that. We don’t discriminate in the workplace, so why were we still telling people what they can do in their relationships?
Many would argue the two things to have worked to block this day are taxes and religion. Married couples receive additional breaks and deductions in their personal taxes. Some have used the argument same-sex individuals would get married simply for those breaks and make a mockery of the practice. Perhaps that is true to an extent, though likely not any more than straight couples do already. Nothing has stopped folks from doing it in the past and we haven’t had a problem so why would that change now?
Another aspect against same-sex marriage in this country is religion. Claiming we have a separation of church and state is laughable if the only reason we don’t allow couples to marry is because any particular religion says it’s immoral. There are many religions that oppose same-sex marriage and they all are entitled to their opinion. If that religion wants to shun individuals it’s their right. It is not, however, the same for the federal government. Every American citizen is entitled to equal treatment and for that to occur the DOMA needed to be rejected.
In the end, how will it affect you? For most of us, our day to day lives will be entirely unchanged. Our jobs, actions and families will stay the same and we won’t have to hear much about it in a month if we don’t want to. For some, this is a moment that can last with them and their partner for the rest of their lives. In the end, we should all be happy that others now have the opportunity to be happy themselves. That is what we fight for as Americans after all, isn’t it?