How I see the importance of the DOMA decision

Because I am no one important, I decided to be fashionably late to posting about the death of DOMA.

As an armchair activist, I woke up this morning and knew the day would be special. I checked facebook, G+, twitter, and the social media storm was sweeping across the intertubes. It was (pretty much) over, DOMA was dead. Of course I saw a few posts that phrased it in different ways, and I started to understand exactly what this really meant.

See there is one small fact about gay marriage in the US that doesn’t come up in common conversation. As a guy from Washington with a fair share of gay and bisexual friends, I had this spelled out to me a few times.

I should specify that I live in Washington State (since some people don’t seem to understand that Washington D.C. is the one with a different name), where we have voted in gay marriage three times. Once with the ‘everything but marriage’ act that gave gay couples all the rights of marriage except kept calling it a partnership. A second time our senate voted it in, hoping that would be the end of it. Then one last time when the local conservatives got the signatures to try to have gay marriage struck down, and we told them to take their bigotry to Arizona.

None of that mattered though, because whether gay people could get married in Washington did nothing about the federal law in that other lesser Washington. DOMA, that ‘defense’ of marriage act, effectively said that no matter what state laws said about the issue, gay marriage was a lot like anal, it just didn’t count. So you can imagine why our citizens of the LGBT variety were less than happy when President Obama pushed the issue off as a matter of states rights.

It couldn’t be a matter of states rights, not when the Whitehouse was sitting on a law that invalidated any progress made in states across the country.

So today, when the supreme court of the United States (I will never call it the SCOTUS) made their ruling, it is my understanding that DOMA will no longer sit there as a giant snorlax in the path of progress. We took our time (mostly because we can’t waste our master ball now), but the job got done, and now we can get back to trying our hardest to be happy.


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