What does the repeal of DOMA mean for same-gender spouses?



Congratulations to all you same-gender parents!

All of us, whether gay, straight or somewhere in-between, are a witness to one of the most important recent decisions in civil rights history. The Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t just a moral or emotional victory for same-gender families. It’s a pragmatic one.

According to immigrationequality.org:

The U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. Now that DOMA has been struck down, American citizens and lawful permanent residents can submit green card applications for their same-sex spouse. - See more at: http://immigrationequality.org/#sthash.g4zMXuMW.dpuf

While it remains unclear how long it will take each federal state to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling, experts are saying Wednesday’s decision means that married couples living in states where same-sex marriage is legal will be able to file taxes, claim inheritances and handle other tax and benefit issues in the same way as heterosexual couples. Bi-national same-sex couples will now be able to submit a Green Card application for their partner. This is HUGE.


NBC writes:
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the conservative-leaning Galen Institute, said the ruling raises the immediate question of whether entities including religious charities that receive federal grants will now have to treat same-sex married employees the same as heterosexual couples for the purpose of insurance and other benefits. She expects legal challenges based on religious grounds and said it could cause some religious hospitals or other entities to change their benefit structure to avoid a fight over same-sex couple benefits.

What was DOMA?
DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, was a national law passed under President Bill Clinton that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. This was the legal basis for individual States denying same-gender marriages within the U.S. Simply put DOMA denied gay Americans the same rights as straight Americans. Under the Constitution which guarantees the 'health, wealth and the pursuit of happiness' of all citizens, DOMA was the remaining legal barrier to that universal declaration.

Whether you agree with same-gender marriage or not, the Supreme Court has made it clear that no matter what your color, or creed or sexuality, in the United States of America you'll get a fair shake. It'll take time to implement and I predict in some States there will be a back-lash. All social change has met the same response but someday and soon, American school-children will routinely learn a another date in history class: 

 Wednesday June 26th 2013 

Today. The day that DOMA died. 


“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs

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