DOMA is pau!June 26, 2013
The decisions are in. The Supreme Court just handed down its rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 — striking them both down.
As a result of today’s historic rulings, the freedom to marry will be restored in California. And with the striking down of DOMA, legally married same-sex couples will soon be afforded the federal safety net that only marriage can provide.
With DOMA pau, thousands of married same-sex couples will soon have access to the security that only marriage provides. But here in Hawaii, couples in a civil union are still denied the federal protections that they need to take care of the ones they love.
DOMA forced the federal government to pick and choose among marriages and discriminate against some families, creating a “gay exception” that caused pain, uncertainty, and financial harm.
Now that DOMA has been struck down, all married couples living in the 12 states and the District of Columbia that recognize marriages for same-sex couples will be included in the federal safety net. What does this mean in Hawaii? Not much — because Hawaii does not recognize marriage equality.
We need our legislators to make marriage equality a reality. Until then, Hawaii couples will continue to be denied equal protection under federal and state laws.
Today is a joyous day for so many. Onward!
Justice Steven Levinson (Ret.)
Equality Hawaii and ACLU of Hawaii