The debate surrounding marriage equality has seen many faces over the past decade. Currently only a small number of states allow same-sex marriage. Even when there is a valid marriage between a same-sex couple, the federal government does not recognize the marriage because of a law called DOMA.
The most wide-reaching effect of DOMA is the section that has been challenged in the Courts many times over the past few years. Section 3 says that the federal government only recognizes a marriage between a man and a woman. This means that all the benefits married couples would receive, including tax credits and social security, are not available to same-sex couples even if they are legally married in the state where they live.
One of the most touching challenges to DOMA comes from Edie Windsor. She was with her partner Thea for 42 years before they were able to legally marry in 2008. After Thea died, Edie faced $350,000 in extra estate tax payments because the federal government did not recognize her relationship.
Prop 8 trial tracker has a beautiful story about Edie Windsor’s story of love along with a video that shows the type of love these two women had for each other. Even if you don’t support marriage equality, I urge you to take a moment out of your day and read about this beautiful story to understand why it is so important.