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DOMA is Done, But Gay Floridians Still Must Defeat the State's Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment

Though SCOTUS eviscerated DOMA, gay Floridians still have a lot of work ahead

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1,138

NUMBER OF FEDERAL RIGHTS CONFERRED BY MARRIAGE, VERY FEW OF WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE TO FLORIDA SAME-SEX COUPLES FOLLOWING THE JUNE 26 U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING OVERTURNING PART OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

 

4,751

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES RESIDING IN ORANGE COUNTY, RANKING THE COUNTY THIRD AMONG ALL COUNTIES REPRESENTING FLORIDA’S 65,000 SAME-SEX COUPLES

 

30.25

PERCENTAGE OF U.S. POPULATION THAT WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE SUPREME COURT RULING, INCLUDING RESIDENTS OF 12 STATES THAT ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE, PLUS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

 

“THE LAWS OF OUR LAND ARE CATCHING UP TO THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH THAT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HOLD IN OUR HEARTS: WHEN ALL AMERICANS ARE TREATED AS EQUAL, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE OR WHOM THEY LOVE, WE ARE ALL MORE FREE.”
– PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS Bureau, CNN

LOVING VS. FLORIDA

A funny thing happened on the way to the weekend. On June 26, just as we were beginning to nibble away at the last of our appendages, anxiously awaiting our well-deserved judgment scowls from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Archie Bunker, Antonin Scalia, a rainbow shot through the nation and delivered a 5-4 verdict that emasculated the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. Through the rat-tat-tat of the scotusblog.com feed, most of us tried to wrap our heads around what it would all mean, especially considering that, on the same day, the court remanded California’s same-sex marriage-banning Proposition 8 back to the lower courts – which made it OK to gay marry in California again, just not anywhere else that had a similar ban (cough, Florida).

A chorus of “legal analysts” stirred up the resulting ether with varying possibilities for Dick and Dick or Jane and Jane if they nuptialized in a gay-marriage-allowing state, but then relocated to a gay-marriage-hating state – Justice Kennedy’s ruling did, after all, dismiss the discrimination of DOMA without removing the provision that allowed states to play a la carte with their matrimonial recognition – but the general consensus was that, no, thanks to our state constitutional amendment affirming anti-bigotry (and passed by you in 2008), all the warm fuzzies would remain outside of the Sunshine State. Sure looks nice from way down here in hell, guys!

But let’s not totally devalue the monumental Supreme Court decision from Wednesday. If we’re to see matters of gay rights as part of a movement – and, really, we should, because not every gay person wants to be married like Bert and Ernie – then it has to be recognized how much of a catalyst federal recognition like this is meant to be for campaigns, even in measly states like our own. Nowhere was that more apparent than on the banks of Lake Eola at the June 27 Marriage Equality Rally, which attracted a pride-parade-level of revelers numbering at a reported 5,000. Oh, and it wasn’t even boring!

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