Supreme Court Ruling | DOMA Unconstitutional

DOMA, marriage, flagLast week, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional "as a matter of equal protection." DOMA was signed into law in 1996 by President Clinton. DOMA effectively prohibited legally married same-sex couples from receiving Federal benefits, such as social security benefits, tax recognition, family medical leave, Veteran's benefits, and much more. In a second ruling, the U. S. Supreme Court affirmed Federal recognition of legally married same-sex couples. This has undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on many children and families of this great nation.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, stated, "(DOMA) ... humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives."

Regardless of political or religious opinion, the rights of children and their financial, emotional, and physical health comes first. Now that the U. S. Supreme Court has affirmed Federal recognition of same-sex civil marriages, these families and their children, will now have access to legal benefits and a security that they never had before.

Every day, we are given a multitude of opportunities to have open conversations with our children. Given the Court's recent ruling, that DOMA was unconstitutional, now is an important time to talk to our children about tolerance, life's issues, equality & more.

Nancy M. Silva, MD, FAAP

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