It certainly has been a busy week in the BLGT community–specifically when it comes to the controversial topic of same sex marriage. In a landmark ruling, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled as unconstitutional in Federal Court. DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 and is known for establishing two things:
- No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state. (DOMA, Section 2)
- The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman. (DOMA, Section 3)
The Defense of Marriage Act has been controversial since it’s inception, and more recently was a campaigning point for President Clinton’s fellow Democrat and successor–President, Barack Obama. President Obama was very vocal about the repeal of DOMA during his campaign, saying in an open letter on his website:
I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
– a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal
only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not
discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does.
Although President Obama’s administration has been quiet on the DOMA ruling and is still reviewing the rulings, there have been other developments that have given a strong indication of the American Peoples’ opinions regarding the union of same sex couples . . . .
Elsewhere in the country, Manhattan’s Borough President, Scott Stringer made a decision regarding his own marriage. A decision that–in and of itself–has made very clear, his opinion regarding same sex marriage. Stringer is a staunch supporter of everything “New York” from buying his coffee at the local coffee shop to rooting for the Jets. In a move considered by some to be highly unusual for someone that takes such pride in the place where they live, Stringer and his fiancee (Elyse Buxbaum) have decided not to have their upcoming wedding in New York–opting instead to get married in Connecticut, a state where same sex unions are legal. Mr. Stringer has been quoted as saying:
If enough people who have somewhat of a profile–not just politicians, but artists and business leaders–start going into Massachusetts or Connecticut and show New York how embarassing it is that you can’t get a marriage license for same-sex couples, then we will change things.
It would seem that as DOMA’s repeal has put the decision back in the hands of the states, that Stringer’s move makes it known that the leaders of our states are listening to the opinions of the BLGT demographic. Showing us all what a difference the voices of a few can make.