DOMA

THE UNITED STATES: STILL THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD

What a truly momentous decision that was issued by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2013. DOMA, known as the Defense of Marriage Act, was held to be unconstitutional. This law enacted by Congress in 1996 that limited marriage to one man and one woman was found discriminatory against the rights of same-sex individuals who legally marry in the state in which they reside, but cannot take advantage of federal benefits provided to those married heterosexual couples.

The decision is truly laudatory. It is in the same category of the recognition of women’s right to vote that was granted in the first quarter of the Twentieth Century. It is in the same category as the passage of the Civil Rights laws enacted in 1965 to prevent discrimination on the basis of race. This is once again, a curative decision from our country’s highest court decrying the existence of discrimination of a class of individuals. This is a decision, like the Civil Rights Act, like the Suffrage legislation, that has righted a wrong that has existed, even before the Declaration of Independence.

The question that I will naively ask is, why has it taken so long for this country to realize that we are all entitled to equal rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution? As technologically advanced as we are in this country, true advancement in our civilization should be judged by the civility and enforcement of the rights of all of its people.

“The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly.” But the counterbalance to that saying is “justice delayed is justice denied.” We can all, as citizens of this great country of ours, Democrat, Republican, Independent, stand proud that our justice system works. But could there be any doubt whatsoever that striking DOMA was the only appropriate decision?

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