It’s been a couple of weeks since the Supreme Court ruled that not only has the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) been declared unconstitutional, but also that the defendants in California’s Proposition 8 case had no legal standing to present their arguments. Rain still comes from the clouds, the sun still lights up the sky and days still go by.
With the repeal of Section 3 of DOMA, the court opens the path for the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in the states where there is marriage equality. In doing so, it allows for the application and eligibility of more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that are laid out in the federal code, including health benefits, long-term care, Family and Medical Leave, and federal retirement benefits, among others. It also subjects them to the same responsibilities of straight marriages, such as anti-nepotism rules and financial disclosure requirements for federal employees.
In the case of Prop 8, the state of California has already begun issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. And the Golden State will join 12 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex marriage.
It had only been a few days, with the players on both sides still trying to discern all of the ramifications of these two decisions. To be expected, the California Family Council asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday to immediately lift the stay on same-sex “marriage” in California. That request was denied. It then submitted an emergency motion, requesting from the U.S. Supreme Court a reinstatement of the stay. Less than 24 hours later, Justice Kennedy denied the motion without comment.
In a press statement, CFC says that the Ninth Circuit, as well as Justice Anthony Kennedy, ignored Rule 45 of the Supreme Court, which states that “the Supreme Court’s decision becomes mandate no less than 25 days after its judgment is released, allowing time for the losing party to file a petition for rehearing.”
Ron Prentice, CFC’s CEO goes on to say, “the actions of the Ninth Circuit and Justice Kennedy deny us that legal right.”
One cannot ignore the irony of that last sentence. While CFC tries to circumvent one group’s rights, it complains that its rights are being denied.
While we celebrate this milestone, we’re not done yet.
There are some that still say that marriage equality will undermine the basic family unit and hurt the economy. We still have to show these Chicken Littles that the sky is not falling. Civil marriage strengthens families, supports stability and allows greater opportunity for couples to live without the crutch of government assistance.
We still must fight to bring marriage equality to the entire nation. We must bring liberty and justice to all.
Robert Turner is executive director of the District of Columbia Republican Party and former president of the D.C. chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @RobertTurnerDC.