To say last year's Supreme Court ruling
striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
was historic would only speak to what came before the ruling was
Leading up to the case were fears that
the court's conservative majority would set back the marriage
In a split 5-4 decision, justices
delivered a sharp blow to the law, approved by Congress in 1996 and
signed by President Bill Clinton: “DOMA is unconstitutional as a
deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the
The high court ruled that the federal
government must recognize the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
The ruling set off a flurry of lawsuits
across the nation, most of which cited the DOMA decision.
In the year that followed, 22 state and
federal courts have sided with gay couples challenging state marriage
laws and constitutional amendments which limit marriage to
Without the DOMA ruling, also know as
the Windsor case after its lead plaintiff Edith Windsor, far
fewer cases would have been filed in the first place.
handed down a year ago Thursday, is more than a historic case.
It is a turning point for the marriage movement and may prove to be
the beginning of the end for state marriage bans.