“Bottom line here: the federal ban on recognizing same-sex marriages is dead. California’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages is dead. There are 12 states in the country where this is now legal, and the political winds on this are blowing so hard in one direction that the idea that we will go back is almost unimaginable in any state in the country … This is now decided as a nation. The argument is won.” – Rachel Maddow
my dear friends & family, it happened. i still can’t believe it. i am shocked and overwhelmed! it feels unreal and unbelievable! i truly never would have imagined that this would have happened like it did. i admit, that i was avoiding thinking about it, for the fear of getting my hopes up and then crushed.
buuuut. the supreme court decided today to err on the side of equality and did away with discrimination in favor of love!
today, when the justices opinions were read, i started shaking. and crying. and laughing. all at once. lina and i looked at each other. we just stared, mouths gaping wide open. was it for real? did they just say that in that moment we went from being unrecognized as a married couple to a bi-national couple in a legal, legitimate, recognized marriage?! i felt such peace and excitement sweep over me. somehow complete, knowing that both of our home countries now saw us as equal to all others. yes. DOMA was now dead.
i sat glued to my computer screen, listening to the newscasters, plaintiffs, lawyers, pundits, and everyone else talking about what had happened. it felt as if the whole country was in shock. and then, about 20-30 minutes later, the second decision came: the judges said that they couldn’t rule on prop 8, effectively saying that same-sex marriage would return to the west coast state. seriously? two favorable rulings? it felt as if it couldn’t be true.
i skyped with my parents, who were beside themselves with joy, as they watched the same newscast we did from across the ocean. and then we heard them say on tv the words which we already knew, but were dying to hear…
effective immediately, the federal government will recognize marriages of lesbian and gay couples. DOMA is found unconstitutional, which means victory for same-sex bi-national couples. what does that mean?! it means that, as an american citizen, i can petition for a green card for my wife now, just like heterosexual couples have always been able to do! lina will have the right to live in the states based on our marriage – just like i have the right in sweden!
of course, this doesn’t mean that everything is fine & dandy for everyone, everywhere. in fact, in north carolina (as sick as this is gonna sound), our marriage will still not be legally recognized. and we will not receive the same rights in the state. still, by the time we need to perhaps petition for a green card, either we will decide to move to a state where we are counted, or nc will have made things all legal and good there too. no need to worry too much right now.
so, though there is much work left to be done to ensure full legal, equal rights for all couples in all places at all times, tonight i celebrate! tonight, i am still blown away and amazed. and i’m just soaking in the fact that the supreme court got it right.
and all of this because of one, little, amazing old woman… fighting for her right to be treated equally after the love of her life, her wife, passed away. thanks to edith windsor, the us is a more equal and loving place tonight.