Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Court ends second day of marriage equality discussion

The Supreme Court entered into its second day of deliberation on gay marriage Wednesday, this time to talk about the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The federal law, which passed in 1996, defines marriage as between one woman and one man.

Although the court didn’t make a decision Wednesday, five out of the nine justices were critical of the law’s legality.

News of the court’s concern has local gay rights activists excited.

Bridget Siegel, a 21-year-old UF religion junior and president of the UF’s Chapter of Pride Student Union, called gay marriage a basic human right.

“I’m absurdly happy that we’re at least in the position where there’s a possibility of equality for everyone,” she said. “That in itself is one of the most amazing things that I could hope to see in my lifetime.”

If the court strikes DOMA down, the government will extend the same benefits allowed to straight couples, such as health care and tax cuts, to gay couples in states that already recognize gay marriage.

“If you live together, if you have a life together, you can file jointly for things,” Siegel said. “It’s the same idea as being married without having the ceremony.”

The decision would also affect the District of Columbia and the nine states that already allow gay marriage such as New York, Iowa and Vermont.

On Tuesday, the court also deliberated on California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 law that bans gay marriage. After two days of deliberation, the court won’t release a decision until this summer. In the meantime, legislators in Illinois, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Delaware could vote on same-sex measures beforehand, according to published reports.

Siegel said she is pleasantly surprised by how aggressively the marriage equality movement has spread.

“If you’d asked me a year ago, I would’ve told you that it would never happen in my lifetime,” she said. “This is vibrant, this is real. This could happen by the time I’m ready to get married.”

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

But not everyone feels the same way as Siegel.

Students like Amore Kotze, a 21-year-old UF mechanical engineering junior, believes that this law has caused a lot of unnecessary hatred.

“People are being told, ‘If you don’t agree with this and you don’t pass this, then you are closed-minded, and you are a bigot.’ I don’t think that’s fair,” she said. “Just because I believe the law shouldn’t pass doesn’t mean that I’m closed-minded or that I don’t love those people, because that’s not true.”

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.