By JASON SINGER, Staff Writer
Same-sex couples across the nation hold their breath as the Supreme Court takes on for the first time cases from New York and California that tests the rights of gay couples.
Gay Rights and marriage equality have taken an even bigger focus on the national forefront of the political arena ever since President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first president in history to support same-sex marriage.
“I want everyone treated fairly in this country. We have never gone wrong when we’ve extended rights and responsibilities to everybody…That doesn’t weaken families, that strengthens families,” said Barack Obama back in April on an appearance on The View.
One of the contentious issues is D.O.M.A, or the Defense of Marriage Act, which passed in 1996 under the Clinton administration, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman for federal and state recognition.
This has prevented married same-sex couples who have been married in states where gay marriage has become legal from getting federal marriage benefits; in particular estate and marriage taxes along with insurance issues as well.
In 2012 this has become the new face of the Civil Rights Movement; fights for citizens of the United States to be equal to everyone else no matter who they love. It raises questions whether the United States is drifting away from its intended purpose: a separation of Church and State.
The four liberal Justices include Elena Kagan, Sonya Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer are expected to shoot down D.O.M.A and possibly declare it as unconstitutional. However, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Roberts are outspoken opponents of marriage equality. Speculation surrounds Chief Justice John Roberts, whose stance on marriage equality remains to be seen.
The fate of many may rest on the decisions of a few. This may be a diminishing hope to many waiting to get married to their significant others, but if anything the recent election has waved a clear sign to many politicians.
The political tides are changing. The demographic of the electorate is getting younger and more socially liberal meaning that growing support for marriage equality is growing exponentially by the day. It is no longer a matter of if. It is a matter of when.