Today marks a historic step in the movement for equality as the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review a lower court ruling against Proposition 8 and hear a case challenging Section Three of the so-called federal “Defense of Marriage” Act (DOMA).
The constitutionality of California's anti-gay Propostion 8 and the part of DOMA that denies the full federal protections of marriage – like Social Security, veterans’ benefits, health insurance and retirement savings – to lesbian and gay couples across the nation will be under review in these cases. Under Proposition 8, lesbian and gay couples in California are denied the protections of marriage at the state level. Additionally, while DOMA stands, the unions of loving and committed same-sex couples across the nation who have been together for decades and are already legally married in their states continue to be treated differently than their straight married peers by the federal government.
If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Proposition 8, the number of Americans living in states allowing full marriage equality will double, brining the total to approximately 87 million Americans, or 28% of the U.S. population. Currently, nine states – New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, and Washington – as well as the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage” Act (DOMA) will come at a time when a growing majority Americans support marriage equality.
“Today is a historic moment for our nation, equality and countless gay and lesbian couples, who simply want an opportunity to marry the person they love,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Our momentum is great and our resolve is strong, with the Supreme Court now poised to affirm our Constitution’s core principals of liberty, dignity and equality for all.”
GLAAD today also released profiles of couples, who plan to marry or have already married in California. Those profiles are available at http://glaad.org/marriage
For more information about the Defense of Marriage Act, visit http://glaad.org/doma