Special Statement: What does DOMA being struck down mean for Kentucky?

Special Statement from Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer:  What does DOMA being struck down mean for Kentuckians?

Lexington, KY (Special Statement) – The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), ending the federal government’s discrimination against legally married same-sex couples.

The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled that Prop 8 was a decision for California with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts stating: “We have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the 9th Circuit,” Roberts said, referring to the federal appeals court that also struck down Proposition 8. This means the decision of the California Supreme Court will stand and Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

This is a great day for our Commonwealth and our country as we move closer to equality for all people. Though this will have little direct impact on Kentucky citizens, it does provide a well deserved slap on the face to Kentucky lawmakers to allow the citizens of this Commonwealth to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage again in Kentucky. While there is still more work to do to ensure equality and justice for all LGBTI citizens, these decisions are historic steps forward, and today is a great day for America.

As momentum for marriage equality continues to build, Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky will continue to work in all regions of the Commonwealth to change the hearts and minds of people, one community at a time. We look forward to the day when the citizens of all states rescind their constitutional amendments and recognize that all people have the freedom to marry.

Today we are reminded that Kentuckians still fall short of justice and this ruling is more than anything, a call to action. For those of us who live in state’s like Kentucky where our marriages are still not recognized, today’s rulings are a reminder that we cannot wait for justice to be handed to us, we are going to have to get engaged and fight.

Today our rights as Americans are not based on our shared citizenship, but upon our geographic location. More than 86 million Americans, nearly one-third of the country, live in states with full marriage equality, with the state and federal protections families need. Today the U.S. Supreme Court has said we can go states like Minnesota or Iowa and get married, but we return to the Commonwealth of Kentucky legal strangers in our home state.