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.
"As a heterosexual couple, we were able to marry easily nearly thirty years ago ... the ability of same sex couples to wed has not diminished our marriage. In fact, it has enhanced it!"'
Names: Seth and Liebe Gadinsky
Married: August 31, 1985, Orlando, FL
Residence: Miami Beach, FL
Professions: Seth -- commercial real estate developer; Liebe - LGBTQ rights activist
Have you noticed a general shift in attitude toward the LGBT community since the Supreme Court ruling?
Liebe: YES! It’s remarkable how much LGBT equality has risen to the forefront of our minds and conversations. Allies are being far more outspoken in their support, and gays and lesbians seem to be more willing to be out.
What are the ways in which the DOMA ruling has fallen short?
Liebe: It has largely left marriage in the hands of the states. As a matter of civil rights, it would have been nice if the Supreme Court had chosen to banish legalized discrimination altogether. This has left each state to deal with its own interpretation of the law. The South still looks blighted when it comes to LGBT equality. Ultimately, marriage equality and relationship recognition will be the law of the land. Still, we need to pass laws to ensure the even more basic fundamental right of employment nondiscrimination. And these laws need to include transgender and gender non-conforming people.
If you were married recently, how has it affected your lives?
Liebe: As a heterosexual couple, we were able to marry easily nearly 30 years ago. Needless to say, the ability of same sex couples to wed has not diminished our marriage. In fact, it has enhanced it!
What are your hopes and dreams for the next generation?
Liebe: We are seeing it already. Children have a far easier understanding of the simple fact of love beyond gender binaries. My hope is for them to have full equality in every way, where we not only accept but embrace the full expression of our varied identities.
Stay in touch with Liebe on Twitter, @liebeliebe88.
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