Advocates are still buzzing over the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8.
These historic decisions are the most important for marriage equality to date, but the fight is far from over. The majority of states in the U.S. still don't recognize same-sex marriage. Overseas, Supreme Court decisions have had an impact on countries prepping for their own equality reform. Of course we'll elebrate this well-earned progress, but don't lose track of what's next in the push to establish authentic marriage equality.
Weddings Resume in California
The decision to repeal Prop 8 had an immediate impact in California, where gay weddings resumed immediately after the ruling. California Governor Jerry Brown said he wants counties to begin issuing marriage licenses immediately, and the first wedding began Friday, June 26, LA Times reported. Prop 8 supporters sent a request for the Supreme Court to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in California, but Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the request.
Besides marriage-equality advocates, one group excited about Prop 8 failing is the wedding industry in California. California could see a boost of nearly $500 million over the next several years, according to Abcnews.com. California had led the way throughout the pursuit of marriage equality, and the Golden State doesn't appear to be backing down.
States Still Control Marriage Laws
While casual followers may have thought the Supreme Court decision to repeal DOMA legalized gay marriage for everyone, the ruling only granted federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples whose states allow gay marriage. States maintain the ability to prevent same-sex marriage, but the swell of progressive support is changing the tide. Illinois, New Jersey and Hawaii may all legalize gay marriage this year notes NBCnews.com and Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada and New Mexico have the momentum to legalize gay marriage in the next voting cycle.
The federal government validated same-sex couples when it repealed DOMA, but it's up to the states to grant equal rights. Same-sex couples share lives, homes, Internet coverage and meals just like heterosexual couples. It's about time we have the same rights.
The Global Ramifications
Americans often see marriage equality as a domestic issue, but the LBGT community is fighting for rights across the globe. In the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his support for same-sex marriage before the annual pride parade in London. This isn't the first time Cameron has affirmed gay marriage, but on the heels of the Supreme Court rulings in the U.S., activists worldwide are calling on their leaders for change.
New Zealand is the latest country to legalize gay marriage. New Zealand's parliament voted to allow same-sex marriage in April, becoming the 13th country to do so. When you put it in a global context, the U.S. is actually ahead of the curve on marriage equality. Same-sex couples around the world face a similar struggle as they push for equal rights.
Image by Fibonacci Blue pursuant to the terms of Creative Commons license
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