DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional, Prop 8 Ban On Gay Marriage Dead

Yaas! History has been made. With today's Supreme Court ruling, the part of DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, that prevented federal recognition of gay couples is no more, and Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in California, has been overturned.

Now, in states where gay marriage is legal, gay couples can begin to claim federal benefits such as filing joint tax returns and receiving Social Security benefits, while married gay and lesbian service members can now be recognized by the Department of Defense to receive benefit and protections, while same-sex marriages can resume in California. According to The Advocate:

"In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the nation's highest court ruled that DOMA denies equal protection to a group of people protected by the Fifth Amendment for no other reason than the group's political unpopularity. 

'By seeking to injure the very class New York seeks to protect, DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government," writes Kennedy in the majority decision, which was joined by justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer. "The Constitution’s guarantee of equality 'must at the very least mean that a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot' justify disparate treatment of that group… DOMA cannot survive under these principles.'"

However, we can't all ease on down the rainbow road just yet. Things could get complicated if say, a gay couple who got married in Massachusetts decides to move to Louisiana, where gay marriage is banned (Chile help my state), and applied for federal benefits. Which brings up another point, that being that marriage equality is not de riguer across the land.

But make no mistake. This is a HUGE step forward toward equality.