What Does The Overturning Of DOMA Mean For Marriage?

YourTango Experts Weigh In: DOMA & Gay Marriage

Our experts weigh in with their thoughts on the overturning of DOMA and Prop 8.

This week was a milestone in the gay rights movement. The Supreme Court struck down Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California as well as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), declaring under federal law that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve the equal rights that go to straight married couples.

But what do our experts think? Do we still have a long way to go to ending discrimination of the LGBTQ community? How does this affect our notions about relationships, marriage, gender and love in this country? They shared their thoughts...

"Since the purpose of marriage has long been evolving — from an arrangement for acquiring property and offspring to a personal commitment between two people seeking to merge households and finances — the DOMA decision reflects how marriage is not just for 'church-approved pro-creation' or inheritance issues anymore. Twenty-first century marriages based on love and commitment transcend gender and traditional 'Mommy/Daddy' roles and provide true 'partnerships' for life-long personal and legal support for everyone involved — and it's about time! Barbara Schiffman

"The decision from the Supreme Court in regards to DOMA and Prop 8 is one more step towards receiving full equality. The enormous strain than many same sex couples live under is incredible. It is stressful to live in a country where discrimination based on your sexual orientation is rampant. I've seen so many same sex couples struggle with issues like balancing being in the closet at work and trying to have a healthy relationship at home. Relationships can be difficult enough without the added stress of pretending for eight hours a day that you don't have a partner. It's a toxic environment that contributes to the deterioration of many same sex relationships.

While the Supreme Court decision gives much needed rights and protections, it's also a public validation of same sex relationships. In a number of ways, public acceptance on a broader scale helps reduce stress for same sex couples, ultimately creating healthier, stronger long term relationships. Full marriage equality will help create more stability within same sex couples and  families, and the surrounding community." Christine Dunn-Cunningham

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