My Story

Growing up in conservative West Michigan, I watched lesbian and gay friends and family members struggle to be accepted and be treated equally. There are gains and losses in this fight every day, and it is vital for LGBT individuals and their straight allies to stand up and to pay attention.

23 February 2011

Goodbye "Defense" of Marriage Act

Step Forward.

I, like everyone else in this movement, was a bit perplexed and even frustrated about how slow the Obama administration was moving in terms to LGBT rights.

Even MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow doubted Don't Ask Don't Tell would be removed.

And now?
Step Forward. Leap Forward.

"The Department of Justice has just announced that it will cease defending the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration has determined that the act is unconstitutional. The move is a huge step for the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. The law is the last major federal statute that openly discriminates against gays and lesbians, following the repeal late last year of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban on gays in the military."

Yes, we still have a long way to go. The move technically only affects those who  live in the five states that allow gay marriage, or those married in California before Prop. 8. 

 Attorney General Eric Holder (picture below) sent a letter to Congress indicating that the the Dept. of Justice won't defend the act in two upcoming lawsuits. 



What does all of this mean?

The Obama administration has taken the position that discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutional. 

It's the first time the US government has taken this position. 

While the the administration will no longer defend the law's constitutionality in court, 
Holder said that the administration would continue to enforce the act unless and until Congress repeals it, or a court delivers a “definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality.”


Like I said, the fight is far from over. But this, my friends, is a milestone. It's one of many, but here it is. Let's be thankful, but at the same time, realize we're in for the long haul. 

Is this the change we can believe in?

Or should we be seeing more action on this issue?


(image from here)

1 comment:

  1. I am having a hard time accepting that this is happening. It's just not fair.

    ReplyDelete