Join us in celebrating the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. To gear up for the June 26 anniversary, msnbc will feature couples’ and individuals’ reflections on the impact the decision has had on their lives and the future of the LGBT rights fight in the United States. On June 25, 2014, just a day before the anniversary, Indiana became the 20th state in the nation where gay and lesbians couples can legally wed. Minutes later, a three-judge panel on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex nuptials – the first time a federal appeals court has ruled in favor of marriage equality since the DOMA decision.
In the last year, marriage equality has come to 10 states. Federal judges have also struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, though their decisions are on hold pending appeals.
No ban on same-sex nuptials has survived in federal court since DOMA’s demise. And, as of this month, every remaining ban has been hit with a legal challenge. Both marriage equality advocates, and opponents alike, believe it won’t be long before the issue is once again before the U.S. Supreme Court, and ultimately legalized throughout the nation.
Name: Alex Morse
City: Holyoke, Massachusetts
Profession: Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts
Have you noticed a general shift in attitude toward the LGBT community since the Supreme Court ruling?
I think we have noticed a shift nationally since the Supreme Court ruling. More Americans are supportive of marriage equality, and more Americans now live in states that recognize same-sex marriage. I think the ruling further propelled the fight for marriage equality, and given the momentum the fight has, it seems almost impossible for those opposed to marriage equality to stop our progress.
What are the ways in which the DOMA ruling has fallen short?
The fight for marriage equality is still happening state by state – we need national marriage equality so that all Americans, not just some, have equal rights.
What would you like President Obama and future leaders to prioritize in terms of LGBT rights?
LGBT Americans in all 50 states need the same protections – marriage equality, protection from discrimination in the workplace, inclusive health care and immigration policies, and aggressive strategies to reduce homelessness among LGBT youth.
What are your hopes and dreams for the next generation or [for your children]?
I hope that the next generation can live in a country where all people – no matter their identity – have equal opportunity. We continue to fall short of providing “liberty and justice for all.” Be it providing equal rights, a quality education, a good paying job, or a safe and healthy community, this country has a long way to go. Where my children are born should not determine their destiny, and we all play in a role in making sure the next generation lives in a just and equal society.
Follow Alex on Twitter @MayorMorse.
Don’t miss Micah and Ted’s story: LGBTQ immigration status, health, and shelter should be the priority