The key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the misnamed anti-gay-marriage law enacted almost seventeen years ago, was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the majority opinion. The decision does not require any state to allow gay marriage. But it means that same-sex couples who are legally married and live in states that recognize gay marriage will be treated as married by the federal government, which until now had been barred from doing so by the law, and will be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as other married couples by the United States government.
Yes its time for celebration for all our Queer friends in America now that DOMA & Prop. 8 have been kicked out the door by the honorable Supreme Court. To know more on what this legally means for same-sex couples, you can go to Google (cute rainbow search bar, no?) and let it do its magic.
Personally I am happy (tears happened too) for all those fighting, and persistently creating awareness against this pathetic excuse for a law. And a massive high-five to Edith Windsor, a courageous woman without whom this initiative would never have taken place.
As an Indian living in India I cannot ignore this feeling of frustration and slight resentment towards our judiciary system & fellow Indians. And can you blame me?
I mean lets face some hard facts here; we are living in one of the biggest democratic nations in the 21st century. And yet it took a brutal rape of a young woman clubbed with years of political & judicial brutality to bring people onto the streets and demand justice. Wonder what we, the sexual minorities living in this culturally riddled society, will have to do (more) to get our existence legalized. And I have to remind myself that even when the Supreme Court of India does strike down IPC 377, it will only be a minor victory for us. For then there is the question of marriage equality, parenthood, workplace acceptance, trans rights, etc. etc.
What keeps me going though is this connection I feel with all those across the globe who are defying the normative ways by living their choices, and that too proudly. In their victory I see mine, and I am certain the day we get our freedom…they will be equally ecstatic.
And this I promise; the day IPC 377 is banished from our system you will see me outside Humsafar Trust office (in Mumbai) with a bhangra troupe, celebrating for this is where my dream for freedom was born.