Defense Of Marriage Act Declared UnconstitutionalJune 1, 2012 No Comments
The American Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been declared unconstitutional.
The federal law defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman and is the official stance of the US government on marriage. The act has been declared discriminatory because it doesn’t give same-sex couples the same rights and benefits under federal laws as straight couples.
While the three judges refused to rule that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry — thus avoiding a political firestorm — they agreed that gay couples shouldn’t be denied federal benefits because of their sexuality. They also said that DOMA interferes with the state’s right to define marriage. However, this battle for equality is certain to go all the way to the US Supreme Court.
This law was first brought in under the Clinton Administration in 1996, at a time when Hawaii was considering the legalization of gay marriage. Clinton didn’t want to force states to recognize same-sex unions performed in other jurisdictions. This just seems like an excuse to usher in backwards and discriminatory legislation.
It seems like the political tide is finally changing in the United States. In 2011, Obama announced that the Justice Department would no longer justify DOMA and he recently announced his support for same-sex unions. The legalization of gay marriage is gaining traction in the US: eight states already recognize gay marriage.
For a country that prides itself on liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the United States is still very homophobic and denies basic human rights to its LGBTQ community in the interest of right-wing religious groups. Why should you care who your neighbour is sleeping with; it’s none of your damn business.
Gay and straight unions should be equal in the eyes of the law. If two consenting adults love each other, they should be allowed to be legally married and receive the same benefits. If not, then discrimination and hatred will only continue to flourish.
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