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DOMA and Prop 8 We Exhaled, Yet Who Can Marry?

Indie Blog Spot LogoAfter last weeks rulings handed down by the Supreme Court on DOMA and Prop 8 my friends extended “Congratulations” and said, “I know your family has been waiting a long time for this.”

Friends also ask…

Will Dustin and Mark’s marriage be recognized now?  The simple answer is “No.”

What about when they move to Oregon?  The simple answer is still–“No.”

Well, what if they get married in the state of Washington where same-sex marriage is legal, but live in Oregon will it be recognized then? If they do, will they receive their federal rights as a married couple in the US?  Answers again–“No and no.”

This is too many “NO’s” for my family. The Supreme Court rulings COULD have been made where all of the answers to my friends questions COULD have been a “Yes”.  (SEE: How The Court Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage by New York Times, flow chart.) Unfortunately, the SCOTUS rulings don’t allow for as many same-sex couples to get married as we hoped it would. Same-sex marriage in Montana is still constitutionally banned. Oregon is still just a civil union; furthermore, each State is different depending on the prior laws passed on the State level.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a victory and progress towards equal rights for all.  It signifies that change is occurring.  But as the saying goes, things just don’t happen overnight–they could have, but the way the Supreme Court ruled, it didn’t.  As Montanans we are still tied to our State laws and in many States equal rights for all is not recognized.  It is that simple.

Here my family is again, taking in a breath, and waiting to exhale.  Yes, Dustin and Mark can move to Washington, California, or any other state where same-sex marriage is legal; however, making a move to one of these states continues to take away their legal rights as American’s to live where they choose to live, work where they want to work, and to be married in the state they want to live in.  All freedoms and opportunities are not afforded to Dustin and Mark.

Mark accepted a Pharmacist job in Portland, Oregon.  He will start as soon as he finishes his exams and obtains his license.  As a married couple, Dustin and Mark want to live in Oregon, not Washington.  In Oregon and in “other civil states”, the Prop 8 ruling affects same-sex couples in no way whatsoever.  The Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8 on standing, which limits the decision to same-sex couples in California ONLY.  No other state.

Mark & Dustin Mr Pharmacy

So, Mark and Dustin can’t be married in Oregon.  If the Supreme Court made a more solid sweeping decision they could have been.

On June 26th, The Atlantic Wire states, “There was one outcome that would have affected Oregon, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Colorado, and Nevada, where those “everything but marriage” civil unions exist. But that would have had to have been a decision from Court that determined that California can’t provide civil unions that provide all the benefits (and burdens) of marriage and not call it marriage — not unlike the concept of “separate but equal.”  To help make things a little more clear The Atlantic Wire put up a couple of interesting maps of the United States in regards to the progress we have made, how far we need to go, and what would have happened if the rulings would have been a sweep for the GLBTQ citizens.

Who can marry?

What it could have looked like?

Close, we are really close.  Is close good enough?  You tell me? One woman who has been with her partner for many years, lives in Montana,  loves Montana, and does not want to move, put it this way….

“It’s a small step forward for couples living in states with gay marriage. For  the rest of us it’s ‘please sit in the back of the bus’.”

I want to give a special ‘thank you’ shout out to my son-in-law Mark.  When I asked for him to do a little research to find the flow chart on “How the Court Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage” he was on it immediately and in the process found the two incredible US Maps by “The Atlantic Wire” as well.  I thank you dear Mark for your fervor, encouragement, and loving support.   

Works, Maps, and Chart Cited:

Alexander Abad-Santos, “Here’s Who Can Marry After the Supreme Court’s Prop 8 Decision — and How Soon”, http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/06/supreme-court-prop-8-decision-marriage-states/66604/ The Atlantic Wire, June 26th, 2013. (July 3rd, 2013)

Alexander Abad-Santos, “Here’s Who Can Marry After the Supreme court’s Prop 8 Decision — and How Soon”, “Who can marry” .gif image, http://www.theatlanticwire.com/static/img/upload/2013/06/26/california-gay-marriage-supreme-court-map.gif , The Atlantic Wire, June 26th, 2013, (July 3rd, 2013)

Alexander Abad-Santos, “Here’s Who Can Marry After the Supreme court’s Prop 8 Decision — and How Soon”, “What could it have looked like” .gif image, http://www.theatlanticwire.com/static/img/upload/2013/06/26/gay-marriage-states-supreme-court.gif , The Atlantic Wire, June 26th, 2013, (July 3rd, 2013).

Adam Liptack and Alicia Parlapiano, “How The Court Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage”, New York Times U.S., .jpg Flow Chart, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/24/us/how-the-court-could-rule-on-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=2& , June 14th, 2013, (July 3rd, 2013).

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Category: Indie It Blog

About the Author: Leisa Greene’s passions include writing about music, theater, film, food, art, family and friends -- all of which are supported by the community of Missoula and an IV line of dark-roasted iced coffee. She is the English Department’s Administrative Associate of Graduate Admissions at her alma mater, University of Montana; the editor-in-chief of Indie It Press; and the author of a memoir manuscript currently titled EARLY OUT. Her other writing consists of short essays (Brother Townsend and A Jamboree Family), playwriting (The Beckett Syndrome) and screenwriting. “The only regret you will ever have is if you never write it. So, go write it Mom. “ – Dustin Nelson, my son

Comments (2)

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Great post and very important for people to understand the reality that the ruling was simply a step in the right direction. My partner is a family law attorney and here in NJ we are stuck at Civil Unions, she said the ruling basically leaves us in park. Sadly, it’s going to take some time for nationwide uniformity so we can move about at will and take our rights/protections with us. Baby steps I guess.

    • Indie It Gal says:

      Hi Stephanie! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. Your partner is dead on, we are in park, for now. So many people believe this was a full-on victory and rights were handed over. It’s just not the case. We still need to make people aware of where things stand. It’s hard to find the patience sometimes because I want this so desperately for my family and others like yours. I need to be content with baby steps but like all babies, I will continue to use my voice! Love to you!

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