Today, in 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, ruling that it is unconstitutional. The 1996 United States federal law passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states and restricted federal marriage benefits. Section 3 of DOMA codified the federal non-recognition of insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint-tax returns for all married same-sex couples.
The ruling grants all legally married LGBT couples, or couples who plan to marry in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia, and as of today, California, have the same federal martial rights as straight married couples. Same-sex couples will now be able to provide their spouse and children the necessary legal and economic protections they need in life and rightfully deserve.
In addition, the Supreme Court also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, saying that the private defenders of Proposition 8 did not have the legal standing to appeal the legalization of gay marriage in the state in the first place.
Today is truly a landmark day for all Americans gay and straight. This human rights milestone is an occasion if any, to break open a bottle of bubbly — or two!
WATCH: Pat Dwyer and Stephen Mosher of the marriage equality documantary “Married … and Counting” speak to MSNBC about DOMA:
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