Marriage equality: From Stonewall to no wall

Updated
(L-R) Rachel Howald, Kate Lummus, Virginia Sin and Gretchen Menter celebrate after the Supreme Court ruled key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)...
(L-R) Rachel Howald, Kate Lummus, Virginia Sin and Gretchen Menter celebrate after the Supreme Court ruled key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)...
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

On June 28, 1969, fed up after a police raid, a group rioted outside a popular New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. The clash came to be known as the “Stonewall Riots” and marked the birth of the gay rights movement. Just two days before Stonewall’s forty-forth anniversary, the Supreme Court struck down the seventeen-year-old Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) as “unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” The court also dismissed California’s Proposition 8 appeal, potentially giving millions of California gay and lesbian residents the right to marry.

The steps of the Supreme Court were flooded on Wednesday with enthusiastic celebrators, not rioters, proudly flying the rainbow flag, proposing to loved ones, getting phone calls from the president for their hard-fought legal battle to get marriage equality, tweeting, taking Vines and Instagram photos to share with the world. An appropriate reaction to the Court’s 5-4 decisive ruling. A blogger for Scotusblog.com summed up the decision:

“By denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them to express disapproval of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. This decision means that same-sex couples who are legally married must now be treated the same under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.”


So, gay and lesbian couples in states with existing marriage equality laws have been affirmed. But what about the other 37 states? What will happen to them? The court did not ensure marriage equality for the states still left without same-sex marriage laws, but the political implications of the decision are sure to reverberate, pressuring remaining states to follow suit.

Joining All in with Chris tonight to relish the victory and deconstruct the decisions are syndicated columnist author of American Savage, Dan Savage, architect of DOMA repeal Mary Bonauto, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, Washington D.C. Rep. Barbara Lee, and Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University, Kenji Yoshino.

Marriage equality: From Stonewall to no wall

Updated