There was a lot to cheer yesterday when the US Supreme Court struck down key parts of DOMA (the Defense Of Marriage Act), meaning that the United States Federal Goverment could no longer deny benefits to same sex couple who were legally married. They also refused to hear a case involving Prop 8, the ordinance that banned equal marriage in California, meaning that same sex weddings are likely to begin there again soon.
One couple who were celebrating were Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, who’ve long been staunch supporters of gay marriage and vowed not to marry themselves until that right was also extended to gay couples.
While gay marriage still isn’t legal throughout the US, Bell obviously feels the SCOTUS decisions are strong enough that she can now marry Shepard with a clear conscience, especially now that the way has been cleared for gay people in California to marry.
Indeed, many now see equal marriage as somewhat of an inevitability throughout the US. There are still numerous obstacles to that, not least that while 13 states allow same sex marriage, there are more than that which specifically proscribe it, often within their individual constitutions. That’s not a complete block, as some states that once had bans (such as Connecticut) now allow same sex marriage, while others that specifically ban same sex marriage are on the road to overturning that, by retaining a ban on the word marriage but providing unions with rights similar to marriage.
Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who has long been the Court’s most unpleasant hater of all things gay has said he thinks equal marriage in the US is now inevitably, no matter how much he personally dislikes that.
And with Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell now likely to marry, will Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie now follow suit? They previously said they were waiting for equal marriage but that was getting more difficult to hold to. Perhaps now they’ll decide the time is right.