When I went to bed last night, I was so angry I couldn't even sleep. Now I feel like dancing and singing in the street (which I may actually do later...).
Well after 1am, I got into bed with that agonizingly common, deep-seated fear that my country was full of ignorant bigots.
Do you know the feeling?
You may have had it when George W. Bush won the presidential election (2000 / 2004 / or both).
You may have had it when you found out that George Zimmerman wasn't arrested after admitting he shot an unarmed child... OR when he was still free more than a month later. (OR when he lied about getting +$135K in donations from supporters... see the whole crazy timeline here. )
Personally, I tend to get it every time I even *think* about the Creation Museum...
Whatever your triggers are, I trust that you know what I mean. (I sometimes call it the "WTF?! Feeling")
So, by now, I'm sure you've heard of SB5 & the heroic filibustering by Texas Senator Wendy Davis. Over 100K people and I anxiously watched an intermittently-muted video feed of a the Texas Senate on YouTube. When I went to sleep, the bill was being reported as passed, even though they CLEARLY broke all the rules to have the vote at all. (Six Key Moments from Wendy Davis' Filibuster)
Then, I wake up this morning - very sleepy and feeling fairly pessimistic about my status as a female. LO & BEHOLD - sometime between 2am and 10am Texas came to it's senses and decided (that they didn't want riots). Perhaps someone persuaded the GOP senators that "sonogram" was not an irrelevant topic when discussing abortions... Or that it was alright to let someone adjust their back brace when they've been standing for 8hrs... For whatever reasons... the bill died! Women of Texas maintain control of their uteruses, at least for the time being.
5-4: DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the 5th Amendment
In short: DOMA WAS STRUCK DOWN! The United States will not enforce discrimination against LGBT marriages from the federal level. (Here is the full opinion.)
It is interesting to note that the justification for ending DOMA was the Fifth Amendment, not the Fourteenth, as many people would expect. The Equal Protection Clause has been interpreted such that it only applies limits the behavior of the states and not the Federal Government. So, the major heft of the "equal treatment" argument fells on ensuring Due Process under the 5th Amendment.
Here's a summary of the justification from Bolling v. Sharpe (1954):
"Though the Fifth Amendment does not contain an equal protection clause, as does the Fourteenth Amendment which applies only to the States, the concepts of equal protection and due process are not mutually exclusive."
Later in the morning, there was a somewhat-confusing verdict on the other important LGBT Supreme Court Case, Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding Proposition 8 in California). The Court threw it out on standing. So, Proposition 8 will be overruled in California. This is not because the Supreme Court said it's unlawful, but because a district court already did. That feels like a bit of a cop-out there, but hey.. The take-home is that California same-sex couples CAN get married again!
Before I sign off, I just want to share a short post that made me tear up today. There will be a lot of "Photos of the Day" from this historic case & the marriages that will ensue. Below, I've relayed some of the first: A short post from the New Yorker with two grainy photos of Edith Winsor, the named plaintiff in the DOMA case, and her lawyer, when they got the news...
HOW EDITH WINDSOR LEARNED SHE WON
I'd really LOVE to meet Edith Winsor at Stonewall today! She might have just been joking, but it would be such a nice surprise.
Either way, I will be celebrating in her honor -- and urge you to do the same! ;)
FROM: All the LGBT people out there (myself included).
TO: All the amazing allies who continue to support us.
THANK YOU!! We would not be celebrating this historic victory without your help.