Equality Won

By James R. Koury, Edtior/Publisher
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

JRK (150 x 150)America took a great stride toward fulfilling its inherent commitment to equality. On June 26th, the United States Supreme Court issued two very important gay rights rulings that nullified the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8. The court found DOMA unconstitutional on equal protection grounds and determined those petitioning the court to sustain Prop 8 did not have “standing” to do so and let the 9th Circuit decision stand.

DOMA being declared unconstitutional, brings to an end a very long fight that finally brings fairness and equity to those same sex couples legally married in that they now are accorded all the federal benefits of marriage that are available to heterosexual couples. The dismissal of Prop 8 by the Supreme Court restores the right to marry in CA, bringing the number of marriage equality states to 12.

While we can bask in the glow of victory momentarily, we must take up the battle tomorrow, as we still have 38 states that do not recognize LGBTQ Americans as equals, and legally discriminate against them due to the constitutional bans on same sex marriage, and are denied access to many rights and privileges straight Americans are entitled to. Our transgender brothers and sisters are also still persecuted and many states deny gay couples adoption rights, hospital visitation rights, and other rights and privileges that straight couples take for granted.  There is much work yet to be done before ALL Americans are equal.

I am confident that the freedom to marry will come to all states in the union. The Supreme Court found DOMA unconstitutional on equal protection grounds, and the court also cited Loving v. Georgia, which essentially means state constitutional bans on same sex marriage would not pass Supreme Court muster either. It is only a matter of time before marriage equality and full and equal access to all the rights and privileges accorded to straight married couples by the federal government are enjoyed by all Americans.

The beacon of freedom and justice shines a bit brighter throughout America after these court rulings. America certainly is a more perfect union because of the court’s historic decisions. The Supreme Court took a monumental step toward protecting the freedoms of gay and lesbian Americans. However, we have a long way to go and we will not relent or become complacent in our efforts to continue to work toward achieving America’s promise of liberty and justice for all for ALL Americans.

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