Let the weddings commence!
In lieu of the Supreme Court of the United States’ historical ruling against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as well as Proposition 8, California has officially begun marrying same-sex couples!
More specifically, Kris Perry and her wife Sandy Stier, the leading Proposition 8 plaintiffs from Berkeley, California, married June 31st at San Francisco’s City hall almost an hour after an appeals court allowed for same-sex marriage licenses. Sandy Stier and Kris Perry became one of the first same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in almost 4 years! Amid their emotional vows, Burbank, California natives Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, two plaintiffs also involved in the Proposition 8 case, followed suit and married Friday afternoon.
“This is about our freedom and our liberty,” professed Katami. “We are not trying to topple marriage. We are not trying to redefine marriage. What we are trying to say is that equality is the backbone of our country.”
But what about the same-sex couples who cannot marry?
After all, the striking down of a key component of DOMA and a 5-4 vote against Prop 8 only applies to the already 13 states that allow for same-sex marriage. Furthermore, 37 states currently uphold very strict anti-gay laws that do not recognize same-sex marriages. Astonishingly, 27 states ban same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law, 3 states by Constitutional Amendment only, 5 by State Law only, and lastly, only 2 states have no laws banning or legalizing same-sex marriage; these states include New Jersey and New Mexico.
Although many Californians and members of fairly progressive states are benefiting from the Supreme Court of the United States’ monumental decision, many LGBT Americans are still feeling discriminated against within their own state.
“I hope the Supreme Court takes the ruling a step further to make it a national law, so we can legally get married under big oak trees in Charleston, with our friends and family from all over the world sharing the joy and excitement on a day that once didn’t seem possible,” stated Jordan Sullivan, a South Carolina resident. Sullivan has been in a relationship with her partner for almost 3 years, however, in comparison to other states, South Carolina is nowhere near as progressive for LGBT rights. “I can only hope we won’t be like the last kid picked in gym class.”
David Boies, an attorney and advocate against California’s ban on same-sex marriage firmly believes that same-sex marriage will be attainable in all 50 states. Boies says “there isn’t any state we’re giving up on” and ensures that marriage equality will “become legal in every single state in the union”.
The push for marriage equality will inevitably arrive in the 37 states that unfortunately fail to recognize same-sex marriages. Until then, LGBT Americans should take advantage of the 13 states that are willing to recognize their eternal love.