SCOTUS Shoots Down Key Provision of DOMA

Jun 26, 2013

With the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the federal government cannot discriminate against married couples of the same sex, a key provision of The Defense of Marriage Act, those couples residing in Ohio should now be eligible for the same federal benefits and programs available to heterosexual married couples - tax breaks, pension rights and other benefits.

States like Ohio still don’t have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in supporting states, and Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director of Equality Ohio, says equality advocates still have a long way to go to "Repeal and replace that constitutional marriage inequality amendment."

She added, "We need to repeal that statewide DOMA, and we live in a state where we don’t, as a community, have any statewide non-discrimination statutes that protect us at work, at home, in our housing or public accommodation situations.  We don have any enumeration in the anti-bullying law in Ohio. We also don’t have any protection in the hate-crimes legislation, and we are one of three states, which, after you undergo a transition, you cannot change your gender marker on your birth certificate.”

Holford believes that while the impact of the court’s decision is still being debated, it does move the argument for marriage equality forward, and she says Equality Ohio will continue to focus on those remaining issues in the months ahead.