SCOTUS has spoken. And today the Supreme Court was the supremest of courts, shooting down Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"). In the process, they made a lot of people very happy.
These are the faces of just a small fraction of those people.
The team that fought Prop 8 (AKA Hollingsworth v. Perry—the 2008 California ban on same-sex marriage—was made of AFER exec director Adam Umhoefer, plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, attorney David Boies, plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
Today, Chief Justice Roberts explained, "We have repeatedly held that such a 'generalized grievance,' no matter how sincere, is insufficient to confer standing. A litigant 'raising only a generally available grievance about government—claiming only harm to his and every citizen's interest in proper application of the Constitution and laws, and seeking relief that no more directly and tangibly benefits him than it does the public at large—does not state an Article III case or controversy."
The other big victory is the demise of DOMA, thanks in large part to Edith Windsor.
After 42 years with her late partner, Thea Spyer, the two women were married in Toronto. After Thea's death, Edith was forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal estate taxes because her marriage was not legally recognized.
And today, the Supreme Court found that DOMA was, in fact, unconstitutional.
From the decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty...DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code."
This is Diane Sabin and Jewelle Gomez upon hearing today's verdict:
They are a couple whose love is now protected by the government.
Justice Kennedy continues, "The principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those person who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution."
This is Sue Rochman and Robin Romdalvik and their son Maddox:
They are a couple whose family is now protected by the government.
"[DOMA] places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple...And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family."
This is Michael Knaapen and John Becker celebrating today's news:
They are husbands whose marriage is now protected by the government.
"DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others."
The highest court in the United States has now said that all marriages are created equal:
"The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a strigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States."
President Barack Obama has weighed in on today's decision too, "I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it."
"We are a people who declared that we are all created equal—and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents' marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better."
"The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."
"So we welcome today's decision, and I've directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly."
It's a good day to be gay in the USA.