People and social networking websites all over the country cheered, while some agonized on Wednesday, June 26 as The Supreme Court announced their ruling that The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was unconstitutional.
DOMA denied same-sex marriage and upheld the infamous California legislation PROP 8, a hotly contested law that defined marriage in California strictly as a legal union between a man and a woman. With The Supreme Court’s new ruling, changes will occur in military family policy, Social Security, Medicare, federal income tax and immigration. In other words, DOMA and PROP 8 will no longer serve as a barrier to same-sex marriage.
Congressman Tim Bishop applauded The Supreme Court’s decision after hearing about it from a staff member. Bishop had filed amicus brief on behalf of Edie Windsor, who was not allowed to receive her wife’s inheritance upon her death. Windsor’s case spurred the debate this past year to end DOMA.
“The Supreme Court has confirmed that equal protection under the law for all Americans means having the ability to marry the person you love,” Bishop said in a press release. “This decision is also a victory for the families who will now be able to access the benefits and rights accorded to married partners by the federal government if they are legally married in a state.”
Bishop has been a part of the LGBT caucus since its inception in 2008. He co-sponsored The Employment Non-Discrimination Act and The Student Non-Discrimination Act, which made it illegal to deny someone a job or admission, respectively, based on their sexuality or their perceived sexuality. Bishop also opposed Speaker John Boehner’s motion to allot $3.2 million to defend DOMA.
Bishop was “cautiously optimistic” according to Spokesman Oliver Longwell because both federal circuit and appellate courts ruled in Windsor’s favor.
The congressman said that the next step in ensuring LGBT rights is making sure that The Supreme Court’s decision is fully upheld through government agencies such as The Department of Defense, The IRS and The Department of Health and Human Services.