By Robin Tyler
Originally published on Advocate.com June 27 2013 12:49 AM ET
Diane and I were thrilled that the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down, and that we and other same-sex married couples, including those in the military, will receive joint federal benefits. Furthermore, we hope this will solve the problem for the tens of thousands of binational couples.
However, we were less excited about Proposition 8 not being ruled on because of "lack of legal standing." Yes, we are very excited that the freedom to marry will return to California. (Although we still worry and wonder why the case wasn't filed on behalf of the two terrific couples in addition to a larger class-action suit?) This could possibly mean that someone might challenge the ruling as just applying to these two couples or at least leave it open to interpretation.
The Supreme Court ruling on Prop. 8 was extremely narrow, which is why some of the liberal justices joined the dissent. In effect, rather then ruling, they just sent it back to California. So why did the justices accept the case in the first place?
All of the major figures in the mid-20th-century African-American civil rights movements firmly rejected that notion of "states' rights," because they knew that enshrining states' rights over civil rights would only delay full equality.
We know this also. So while we celebrate, we know of the tremendous amount of work that has to be done. Tuesday's reversal of the successful Voting Rights Act shows how easily rights can be reversed.
So now more then ever, we need to keep fighting, not just for the freedom to marry nationally, but for the Employmen Non-Discrimination Act, housing, and a comprehensive national civil rights bill that protects our entire community. Because Justice is not about Just Us.
ROBIN TYLER and her wife, Diane Olson, were the original lesbian plaintiffs to sue for the freedom to marry in California.