Where were you when the decision was announced? DOMA, the the Defense of Marriage Act, a law signed by Bill Clinton in 1996 preventing the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last week. I was anxiously awaiting the announcement, along with my colleagues and a student whose oral comprehensive exam board I was sitting on. As soon as the exam finished we read the news reports--it was almost hard to believe. I had goose bumps and was choked up by the news. This moment has been so long in coming.
The decision is a victory for everyone invested in equality; it affirms that married couples deserve to be treated with respect and equal treatment by the US federal government, regardless of the sexual orientation of the individuals in the relationship. It serves as a reminder to those who would discriminate against people who are different from them that the values of this country are based in equal treatment for everyone. While the day-to-day realities of this society demonstrate that those values are not always put into practice, the tide is changing. The decision should also serve as a warning to bigots and those whose hearts are filled with hate--we will not stop fighting for love and equality. Sometimes the fight will move painfully slowly. There is still much work to be done to secure equal rights for same-sex couples, and there are many whose voices have been filled with outrage over this decision. But we will keep moving forward, we will keep fighting for what is right. And we will celebrate this victory!
EMPOWERTAINMENT aims to take a critical look at media in regards to how gender and women/girls are portrayed. From popular articles, videos, and websites, to original submissions, we want to not only examine the media and its relation to gender, but help shift it.