In a week of highs and lows in the struggle for justice for all, AFSC celebrates the Supreme Court decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to return marriage equality to California, major milestones in the movement for equal protection of lesbian and gay couples. AFSC was among a small number of organizations working to oppose DOMA when it was first enacted in 1996, and its reversal today reminds us of Martin Luther King’s words: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
We rejoice that lawfully married couples living in states with marriage equality will soon have equal access to all the federal rights and benefits that are based on marital status, and marriages in California are expected to begin again soon. We are relieved that married same-sex couples will now be eligible to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for permanent residency status, a key concern that had been left unaddressed by current immigration bills before Congress.
While celebrating these monumental steps forward, we recognize that in many states, LBGT people not only remain unable to marry, but also still lack even the most basic protections from discrimination. AFSC remains committed to ensuring that all people can live free from discrimination, oppression, and violence, with equal access to the rights and protections that others enjoy.