Reactions To DOMA Decision
Today’s ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and overruled Prop 8 brought months of anticipation to a close. Brad Hays is an assistant Professor of Political Science at Union College - he says the "interesting ruling" was expected by people who had been watching the oral arguments closely.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, issued a statement saying in part that "Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact."
GOP Hudson Valley Congressman Chris Gibson weighed in as well: "I support civil unions and equal protection under the law. And at this point, the Supreme Court has spoken."
Rev. Bill Banuchi, Executive Director of The New York Faith & Freedom Coalition, says he is not surprised, but disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court's split decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and recognizing the legitimacy of same-sex unions if individual states equate them with "marriage."
He sees this as a call to double the efforts to teach about the sanctity of "authentic marriage," and the need to make God's design for marriage and family, once again, the primary order for a peaceful and prosperous society.
At the opposite end of the opinion spectrum: Danielle Moodie-Mills. She is an advisor for the Center for American Progress on LGBT policy and racial justice. "As an African-American lesbian this is a huge day for equality. It means that my marriage and the marriages of hundreds of thousands of Americans are recognized by our government."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, issued a statement saying that "Freedom includes keeping government out of people’s most personal and intimate choices, and affirming human dignity."
In the wake of the DOMA decision, 11 national LGBT advocacy organizations have jointly issued a series of factsheets to provide guidance to same-sex couples and their families as they navigate accessing federal rights, benefits, and protections.
“After DOMA: What it Means For You” LGBT Organizations Fact Sheet Series details many of the ways federal agencies accord legal respect to married same-sex couples. The guide includes fourteen factsheets on the following topics:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Federal Employee Benefits
- Family Medical Leave Act
- Military Spousal Benefits
- Private Employment Benefits
- Social Security, Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Veteran Spousal Benefits