There was a great array of speakers in Raleigh tonight at the celebration and info session around today's marriage victories at the Supreme Court including legislators, speakers from Equality NC, and the ACLU. My very preliminary understanding of the ruling is that there wasn't standing for Prop 8 which means marriage equality returns to California and puts about a third of the country's population in marriage equality states. And with the ruling against DOMA that means federal benefits will now be extended to same-sex married couples in states that recognize marriage equality.
I believe that means good things for bi-national same-sex married couples who are facing separation through deportation though I haven't heard as much about that. Whether federal benefits will come to North Carolinians like me who were legally married in a state that recognizes full equality, but now lives in one that doesn't still seems to be a point of contention and ambiguity.
What we do know is that today is the biggest leap forward in the fight for LGBT equality in my lifetime and it creates some precedents and legal language that will be used to fight back against marriage bans in all those states where full equality has yet to be recognized. And though less tangible, the momentum towards equality that these rulings have produced will help in state level legislative and referendum-based efforts to recognize the freedom to marry. It's a very good day indeed.
As a North Carolinian who was planning on getting married in California until Prop 8 happened during my engagement and caused a last minute revamp of wedding plans for Massachusetts, I am very heartened to see Prop 8 and DOMA biting the dust. And I'm excited to be running a pro-equality event in Wilson, NC tomorrow.
Here's a bit of what I saw at tonight's celebration.