From the SCOTUS Blog:
Details on United States v. Windsor: In Plain English
The federal Defense of Marriage Act defines “marriage,” for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only. Today the Court ruled, by a vote of five to four, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, that the law is unconstitutional. The Court explained that the states have long had the responsibility of regulating and defining marriage, and some states have opted to allow same-sex couples to marry to give them the protection and dignity associated with marriage. By denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them to express disapproval of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. This decision means that same-sex couples who are legally married must now be treated the same under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.
This is a historic day for many same-sex families and couples. I am thrilled for everyone, especially those same-sex families and couples that I know personally and are a part of our community.
Growing up, I didn’t even really know what being GLBT meant. The only thing I knew, really, was what I learned in church. That didn’t give me much to stand on. When I got to college, I was a bit shell-shocked in even having a discussion about sexual orientation and meeting lesbians. It was brand new ground that I had never encountered. After the frosh discussion and meeting a new friend, E, who was lesbian, I wept. As a Christian and someone who believed in God, I couldn’t understand the hurt inflicted on the gay community by Christians. It really didn’t make a lot of sense that a God of love and grace would bring such an onslaught of hatred, hurt, and judgement. There are moments where I still weep for E when I remember her being locked out of her room because her then roommate couldn’t understand. If she had just taken a chance to listen and to know her, maybe things could have been different.
There are times where I am afraid to really take a stand on this subject because it is so divisive – I know that even in my own extended family, there are people who wholeheartedly disagree with me. However, I felt like this was something important, historic, and HUGE that it definitely deserved a spot on my blog.
As a parent, I want my daughter to embrace everyone with grace, understanding, love, and equality. I want her to know that a family is not just a mom, dad, and kids, but that a family is a group of people who love each other and are committed to each other – NO MATTER WHAT. What defines us as a family is not what the law says defines us as a family, but it’s what happens between the hearts of two people. We all become families in different ways and it’s not so much how we get there, but that we are there – as a family. And once you are a family, you can’t take that away.
I know we still have a long way to go and that people will have great debates on what’s wrong and what’s right and what God intended. For me, though, I will revel and rejoice that we’ve taken a step forward. I will continue to know that the God I believe in is so much bigger and that my tiny little brain will never fully comprehend what He really intended. But what I do know, is that God is full of grace, compassion, love, and peace. So with that, I take my stand that promotes equality for ALL – same-sex couples and families, especially.