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 legall 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: Rory O’Malley
Date of wedding: Set for fall 2014
Residence: New York City
Profession: Rory is an accomplished actor, best known for starring as Elder McKinley in the original Broadway company of “The Book of Mormon,” He will be appearing on FX’s new comedy “PARTNERS,” starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence, starting Monday, August 4 at 9 p.m. He is also an original founder of Broadway Impact, a grassroots organization of theater artists and fans mobilized in support of marriage equality.
Have you noticed a general shift in attitude toward the LGBT community since the Supreme Court ruling?
I think the support for marriage equality has grown even faster because of the ruling. When the highest court in the land concluded that gays should have access to federal marriage rights, it made those on the fence realize that marriage is a right protected by the Constitution.
What are the ways in which the DOMA ruling has fallen short?
The most obvious way is that the majority of states still do not have marriage equality, but the decision is responsible for a domino effect of additional states.
What would you like President Obama and future leaders to prioritize in terms of LGBT rights?
ENDA [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] is a priority. The fact that you can be fired for being gay in the USA is a disgrace that must be changed.
If you were married recently (or plan to marry soon), how has it affected your lives?
I got engaged a month after the decision. To know that we will receive full marriage rights at the state and federal level gives us the confidence and stability that every married couple deserves. There is a sense of security that is indescribable.
What are your hopes and dreams for the next generation or [for your children]?
My hopes are that gay families continue to grow and feel protected here in the USA and in countries all across the world.
Keep up with Rory on Twitter: @RoryOMalley.