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.
In the last year, marriage equality has come to nine 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.
Names: Maria Hinojosa and German Perez
Date of wedding: July 20, 1991
Location of wedding: Great Hill in Central Park, New York City
Professions: Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter for PBS and NPR, as well as president & founder of Futuro Media Group, an independent nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism.
German Perez is a visual artist and band leader of Lemba y los Carapintadas.
Below are Maria’s responses to the questions.
Have you noticed a general shift in attitude toward the LGBT community since the Supreme Court ruling?
My daughter was the happiest person in our family after the SCOTUS decision. I mention that because as the youngest, she already sees the equality around her in New York, and wants to see it all over the country. She is the symbol for the openness in this new generation. And her gay pediatrician and gay dentist have been in a long-term, loving relationships since she met them as a baby.
What are the ways in which the DOMA ruling has fallen short?
This is really a question for my LGBT brothers and sisters to answer. They have to voice their concerns as the ones directly impacted.
What would you like President Obama and future leaders to prioritize in terms of LGBT rights?
The core of our country is equality: that we have the right to a vote and a voice. In an ideal world, we would all be seen as the individuals we are and given a voice. Among the most invisible in our country are LGBT undocumented people. Unfortunately, the progress made in legislation is not shared with undocumented immigrants.
If you were married recently, how has it affected your lives?
After 23 years of marriage, and in the tradition of my parents’ 61-year marriage, I say happy to make the marriage club bigger!
What are your hopes and dreams for the next generation or [for your children]?
Very simple: marry if you want and who you want for as long as you want. I am surprised that among my staff and friends, the newest married couples are gay, Latino, and under 30.
Don’t miss yesterday’s profile on Carter Gibson: “Marriage equality shouldn’t be a discussion anymore”