Same-sex couples live in states where gay marriage is legal scored a major victory on the historic day of June 26 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that denied same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples. The decision was praised by President Barack Obama who spoke at a press conference in Dakar, Senegal on June 27. The Boston Globe reports that Obama said gay couples should have their marriages recognized even in states where same-sex marriage is banned.
If a gay couple from Massachusetts or Connecticut moved to a state that currently has a ban on gay marriage, because the federal government now recognizes gay marriage due to the DOMA ruling, that these states should also recognize the marriages and grant the same benefits.
“It’s my personal belief — but I’m speaking now as a President as opposed to as a lawyer — that if you’ve been married in Massachusetts and you move someplace else, you’re still married,” said Obama. “And that under federal law you should be able to obtain the benefits of any lawfully married couple. But I’m speaking as a President, not a lawyer.”
Obama coming out in support of same-sex marriage and marriage equality in 2012 was a key moment in the fight that led to this historical moment in the history of gay rights. Speaking as a president, Obama showed that all Americans mattered and should be treated equally. Most importantly he recognized the plight of many same-sex couples throughout the country. On Thursday he communicated that he will still be on their side and continue the fight.
There are now over 1,000 rights available for same-sex couples that weren’t available under DOMA. Obama believes it is important that those who deserve the benefits are getting them as soon as possible.
As all Americans are equal under law and believers of basic fairness, Obama said he thinks “yesterday’s ruling signifies one more step towards ensuring that those basic principles apply to everybody.”
And that means respecting the legality of a gay couples love in all states throughout the free land.