DOMA

19902_555043931226093_1165102930_nIt as been announced in the U.S today that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), the Federal law allowing same-sex marriage discrimination, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why is this a good thing? Well, this is good news for already married same-sex couples, as they have until now been discriminated against when it comes to matters of federal benefits. For example, a New York same-sex couple married in Canada. When one of the couple died, she left her estate to her partner, who had to pay almost $400,000 in taxes, something she would not have done had she had the same rights and privileges of a heterosexual couple.

The U.S.Supreme court have deemed the 1996 law DOMA, an act that strictly defined marriage to be between one man and one woman, to be unconstitutional as it explicitly treated same-sex couples differently to heterosexual couples, by denying to the former certain financial benefits that the latter enjoy. This means that Prop. 8, the voter ballot initiative in California outlawing same-sex marriage, was denied a Supreme Court ruling. This means the California State Supreme Court ruling that says Prop. 8 is unconstitutional, can be upheld.

Prop. 8 issue is a California issue, not a Federal issue. While it is good for California same-sex marriage supporters, it’s not ideal because it doesn’t give support to a Federal position.

To be honest, the problem, and not just in the US, is that marriage is originally a religious concept. In the Christian bible, it specifies that marriage is one man and one woman. However, the ‘marriage’ that is being discussed throughout courts is the legal state of marriage, and quite frankly someone’s gender should not enter into it. If a legal marriage offers benefits to things such as tax, these benefits should be allowed for everyone.

What amuses me is the fact that once again, the religious right have gotten on their high horses, and claim that this act rings the death knell on traditional marriage. This is because they are still thinking of marriage in religious terms, not legal terms.

My message to these people is thus:

Allowing gay people to marry WILL NOT mean that straight people stop getting married. Allowing gay marriage will not mean people will marry their children or pet. This suggestion is ludicrous and far fetched at best, or indicative of their own sordid fantasies at worst.

Imagine I lived next door to a young unmarried couple, a man and woman. Imagine that one day that couple got married. Has this affected me in anyway shape or form? NO.

Now, imagine that the couple in question were two men, or two woman. Has that affected me in anyway shape or form? NO.

Many US states have legalized same-sex marriage, but don’t offer these couples the same legal benefits of marriage – now they will. There is still a long way to go for equality. There are still a lot of states that have made same-sex marriage illegal, California being one.

Also, the UK needs to get its act together, and stop listening to the dinosaurs in the House, and in the Church, and listen to the nation. The United Kingdom, a few obvious exceptions aside (stinkeye to you EDL), I think support same-sex marriage. If only our glacial judicial system could just pick up the pace a little.

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