Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith comments on today’s #SCOTUS rulings

June 26, 2013

In a highly anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors’ benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.

Section 3 of the law defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” and a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” That provision had been struck down by eight lower courts before the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor.

Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith offered the following statement in reaction to today’s rulings:

Today’s rulings are a major step forward for the country, but for Floridians they fall far short of justice and are more than anything a call to action.

For those of us who live in state’s like Florida 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.

A majority of Floridians support the freedom to marry, and this is our moment to stand up and get engaged on the right side of history.

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 Supreme Court has said we can go states like Minnesota or Iowa and get married, but we return to Florida legal strangers in our home state.

Equality Florida launched the Get Engaged campaign (www.imengaged.org) to call on the growing number of Floridians who support equal rights and the freedom to marry to act on their beliefs; to talk to their family, friends and neighbors about why marriage matters and about why no loving, committed couple should be excluded from marriage.

Now is the time to be vocal, be visible and join the fight today!

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