The Defense of Marriage Act, which defined a marriage for purposes of federal law, as only the bond between a man and a woman, was finally struck down today by the Supreme Court. It was with great joy that I learned the news just as I was leaving DC Superior Court, and so I was able to walk over to the courthouse, where the highest judges of our great nation, issued their landmark ruling striking down DOMA as unconstitutional.
Just 20 years ago, no one could have predicted this outcome– not a single state recognized gay marriages back then, and many were still debating whether this was a sexual preference, a choice, a deviant way of living that should remain hidden. Many have asked why this issue bothers me so much, and I would ask the reverse– how could it not bother you? As President Obama said so eloquently today, “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.”
A dear friend of mine from high school and college was brilliant, beautiful and gay. He confided in me how afraid he was of rejection and being ostracized. I kept telling him it would all be okay, and I truly wanted it to be okay for him. We lost touch after graduation, as I went on and delved myself into my legal textbooks, and I heard a few years later that he committed suicide. Jeremy, I wish you could be here today to witness what I saw– gay couples proudly holding hands and kissing in front of the Supreme Court. Banners and rainbow flags everywhere, as masses celebrated today’s decision. I made the trek to witness this historic moment with my own eyes, and it was beautiful!
Be proud of who you are, and never lose hope. The Supremes– you earned your name today.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.