Judging by the dialogue at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, it looks as if the justices are highly skeptical of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, the misguided 1996 law that should be struck down in the name of equality.
DOMA wrongly defines marriage as only the union of man and woman, denying loving same-sex couples of all the benefits that come with being wed. The law is not just symbolic, because those include financial benefits and protections such as the right to not testify against one’s spouse in a criminal case.
The law was passed at a time when the drive for marriage equality was gaining steam but had yet to be accepted by most Americans. Since then the tide has turned, and more and more states are allowing gay marriage, including New York. And the U.S. Constitution says each state must recognize the “public acts” of other states, a phrase that should include the recognition of marriages.
So for reasons of equality, fairness and the law, we believe same-sex marriage should be allowed in all states, which requires that DOMA be struck down.