The Supreme Court of the United States struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
This is a historic move forward!
In its ruling, the Supreme Court states:
DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.
By striking down the DOMA, legally-married gay and lesbian couples will begin to receive the more than 1,000 federal rights and benefits of marriage. These include the ability to file joint tax returns, receipt of military benefits, and permanent residency for spouses who are foreign nationals.
In the second case before the Supreme Court dealing with gay marriage, Hollingsworth vs. Perry, the Supreme Court ruled the petitioners did not have standing to appeal the district court order. The finding brings gay marriage back to California, but has no impact on any other state.
Marriage equality will now be legal in 13 states, including California, and the District of Columbia. Marriage bans, such as the one here in Virginia, remain untouched.
The implications for couples legally-married in another state who reside in Virginia, since Virginia does not recognize same-sex marriage, are in question.
As Evan Wolfson with Freedom to Marry stated:
Marriage should not flutter in and out like cellphone service. When it comes to federal programs, even if states are discriminating, the federal government should not.
The Supreme Court rulings give us a tremendous opportunity to engage with our friends, family and neighbors about why marriage equality is so important.
At this critical moment we must show that Americans everywhere that we strongly support the freedom to marry and full equality for our LGBT loved ones. By standing together we will show the nation that the time has come for all Americans to be treated fairly and equally under the law - no matter who they love.
I founded Mothers & Others of Virginia because it is not right that on the day my son stated he was a gay man, he lost a number of his rights and became a lesser person under the law. Today, a number of federal rights were restored, but our work is not done.
I vow to continue to fight for him and all of our LGBT loved ones until full equality is achieved.
I hope that you will join me.