A Historic Day for Civil Rights in the USA

There is a lot of news worth celebrating today in the United States.

Yesterday, representative Wendy Davis began a marathon filibuster to defend choice in the State of Texas. For over 12 hours she spoke passionately about the need for reproductive freedoms and against a bill designed to roll back choice to the stone age, effectively denying millions of women access to abortions. Her efforts were thwarted on a technicality at the literal eleventh hour (she had to make it until midnight) and the Republicans attempted to force the vote. Thousands of spectators began jeering the lawmakers, effectively using a citizen filibuster to delay the vote past midnight, rendering it invalid.

Then, this morning, the Supreme Court ruled on two long-awaited issues regarding same sex marriage rights.

First, the majority ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Striking it down means that federal marriage benefits are now extended to all legally married gay couples in the United States.

Second, the court decided that the Proposition 8 case – the attempt to define marriage as between a man and a woman in the State of California – did not have standing to be heard, so the previous ruling striking it down stands. Same sex marriage is once again legal in the State of California.

The battle for marriage equality now returns to be fought on a state by state basis across the USA.

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