Last Wednesday morning, instead of watching Disney Jr, I had on the Today Show. The horrible fourth hour with Hoda and Kathie Lee was just starting and my oldest had just been returned to me from gymnastics. I knew the Supreme Court would be ruling on DOMA that morning at 10am, but it hadn’t crossed my mind that it would be on TV at that time.
I know how ridiculous that sounds, but give me a break, I was home with a one-year old who is having separation anxiety issues, Ok?
Anyway, just as I had gotten the kids a mid-morning snack and was sitting down at my computer to
waste time on social media work, NBC broke in to something Kathie Lee was saying with the breaking news of the verdict. DOMA was dead.
I started to cry.
I have so many friends who have been waiting for this ruling. The doors are opening up for them to be recognized as real families and get real benefits. I laughed when I thought of my friends Mark and Fred who have been struggling so hard for so long to keep Fred in the country. I smiled at the thought of my boys growing up without ever having known their country to deny loving marriages between anyone.
I definitely had a moment of joy on Wednesday.
Then I began to think about the nitty gritty of everything.
We live in Michigan, which currently does not recognize gay marriage. Would this repeal of DOMA mean that the state laws are no longer constitutional too?
What would it mean for our economy? We are already struggling — especially Detroit. Why would gay couples want to move here for jobs if their marriage won’t be recognized and they can’t share benefits?
And what about the other states who don’t recognize same-sex marriage? Will their laws be repealed? Even if the state wanted to keep the laws in tact (and were allowed to do so), wouldn’t that be like shooting themselves in the foot economically?
Thankfully for Michigan, US District Court Judge David M Lawson has heard a case challenging the constitutionality of Michigan Public Act 297, which “prohibits public employers from providing medical and other fringe benefits to any person cohabitating with a public employee unless that person is legally married to the employee, or is a legal dependent, or eligible to inherit under the State’s intestacy laws.” *source
Judge Lawson has said that it’s hard to argue that the Act is not specifically about denying same-sex couples benefits, even though the Act doesn’t not specifically say so.
I’m hoping this is yet another step in the direction of marriage equality.
I look at my sons, ages 4 and 1, and my prayer is that they will be shocked to learn that we ever had laws that said same-sex couples couldn’t get married. I know we have a long way to go to fight the discrimination, but last week’s Supreme Court ruling has me hopeful for a more peaceful future for my sons.