QUESTION: With DOMA And Proposition 8 Struck Down, Where Do We Go From Here?

scotusThis morning brought with it two big rulings from the Supreme Court that will go down in the history books. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court threw out the Defense of Marriage Act, entitling same-sex couples to federal benefits in the states where gay marriage is legal.

To be clear, this does not force states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage to change their rules. In another 5-4 ruling, California’s notorious Proposition 8 was struck down because it was found that private parties didn’t have the “standing” to defend the measure against gay marriage.

That said, Queerty readers, what changes now? Both in our personal relationships and in the fight for gay rights, where do we go from here? Is the movement towards marriage in the past 10 years forcing us to grow up?

In a world where gay teens can watch these rulings on television and envision a future that includes marriage and a family for them, does this mean that gay culture will move above and beyond some of its more hedonistic aspects? Or, is this ruling a further death-knell for a culture which has been for so long unbound by the traditional ideas crystallized by the institution of marriage?

What say you?

Photo: Twitter user @AnnTelnaes

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  • secbro22

    I’m glad the article points out that Prop 8 wasn’t declared unconstitutional. It was ruled that the petitioners did not have the standing (meaning that no tangible harm was done to them) to defend the case on federal court (in order for a case to go to federal court, the defendant must prove they had been harmed). So the Supreme court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on it (and neither did the Ninth Circuit which upheld Prop 8). So since neither could rule on the case, the Ninth’s decision was thrown out. This meant that the District court that originally ruled it unconstitutional, is the legal decision so Prop 8 is unconstitutional again.

    This means the Prop 8 decision can’t be applied to other states that have bans on same sex marriage, or states that define a marriage as only between a man and a woman as it wasn’t thrown out on the basis of equality. A victory, but not the victory people were hoping for I think.

  • QJ201

    NEXT: Civil Unions upgraded or federally recognized.

    Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, & New Jersey…Civil Unions do NOT guarantee access to federal benefits just won by tossing out DOMA.

    The question is whether to have the states upgrade to marriage through court action or legislation on the state level or have Congress or the President act to recognized Civil Unions as Marriages for federal purposes.

  • jtnabilene

    DOMA was not struck down. Only section 3 was declared unconstitutional. Section 2 still allows states to not recognize legal marriages performed in other states. So, get married in California and move to Texas…you are not married under the laws of Texas. You may have all the Federal benefits but you have none of the state benefits. Nor, do you have any legal standing as a married couple.

    So, as great as this days events may be, they are only step one out of many that still need to be taken.

    My partner and I have been together longer than many of you have been alive. Yet, we are not a married couple in our home state even if we go someplace to marry and then come back home. We have to hire expensive lawyers to protect our selves should something even happen to one of us. We have to make sure that all our medical stuff is in order so that, should one of us end up in the hospital (like I did two years ago with a heart attack) the other will be able to even visit much less assist in making health decisions.

    It would/will be nice if we are able to marry before one of us dies but we are not holding our breath or leaving the particulars of our lives un-protected.

  • hyhybt

    One thing not to do: “Thirteen states is good enough; let’s drop this whole marriage thing.” There are 37 to go.

    Outside of that… the biggest obstacle on other important matters is the House of Representatives. So the next thing to work on would not be any specific issue, but flipping control of the House. Impossible to get things like employment and housing protection even seriously considered until that’s done.

  • Chris Bull

    gay rights advocates are already scouting cases to challenge statewide marriage bans, something today’s rulings did not quite address. the majority in doma certainly made it clear they would be skeptical of laws that single out gays for second class citizenship in marriage laws, so it will be interesting to see how it handles such a direct equal protection challenge.

  • Polaro

    Finish the war, this was just a major battle. And then move on to ENDA. And then fight a rearguard battle against snipers for the next 20 years until they all die off.

  • andy_d

    All the above make very good points.

  • Wilberforce

    What’s next? ENDA and stopping the spread of HIV. They should have been first, imo.
    That said, let’s all celebrate Mary!!

  • Elloreigh

    @hyhybt: Exactly – not a replay of the East and West coast doing the “we’ve got ours – let’s move on to something else now”.

  • MickeyP.

    Today was wonderful. It started the ball rolling. We’ve come quite far,yet we still have far to go. Until all our brothers and sisters can marry,we are still not really equal. I live in Massachusetts. We were the first state to marry. But,now we will be federally recognized,which is good. However,until we ALL get the same recognition,we are ALL still 2nd class citizens.I believe that now more and more states will legalize marriage,but until they all do,we haven’t really gotten our rights.

  • devinjgray

    Marriage equality for all 50 states and U.S. territories. Today was a great first step,but we are far from done.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #3 jtnabilene, Your post resonated with me. As MickeyP wrote, ” Until we ALL get the same recognition, we are ALL still 2nd class citizens.” With the voting rights act done wrong, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and bold cheating taking place in the Republican party, chances are, they will succeed in getting their hateful agenda some traction, but it is a “finger in the dike” so to speak. hyhybt has the right idea about flipping control of the house. I do believe we need to pursue Church leaders who are blatantly inserting themselves into politics. If they continue to pander to politicians from the pulpit, they need to lose their tax exempt status. This practice harms the church more than the political spheres, as it shows them to be worldly and faithless. Equality is inevitable, so abortion and a war on women will be the Republicans next clarion call, in an effort to remain relevant. In no way is the issue of equality even connected to the issue of abortion, it is merely an observation, that the GOP needs another focus. Maggie Gallagher hates it when she hears that equality is inevitable. She even refuted that statement, spitting those same words back like chyme. She’s wrong, as are many. Separation of Church and State has never been more relevant.

  • JeffNYC

    A new Voting Rights Act: we must throw all our passion and force behind protecting everyone’s right to vote.

Comments are closed.