How Lovely are the feet of those who bring good news of equality.
A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, LGBT, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Yesterday, a remarkable drama unfolded in Australia as our head of state was replaced in a bloodless coup.
As Important as that is, something far more significant and enduring was happening half a world away and half a day behind. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) was handing down its much anticipated ruling on the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) . DOMA is a piece of legislation enacted in 1996 which prevented the Federal Government from recognising same sex marriages approved by any US State.
At 10am precisely the ruling of SCOTUS was released and posted online.
The ruling stated that DOMA is demeaning to same sex couples and humiliating for their tens of thousands of children. It is in violation of the fifth amendment. Doma had been overturned.
At 10.07 a young intern named Gabe downloaded the ruling, grabbed the 27 page document hot from his office printer and ran the most important 644 meters of his life. He bounded up the steps and into to the Federal Immigration Court in NY City where Steven was about to be deported. Steven has been legally married to Sean since 2011 but, because of DOMA, their marriage was invisible to the court. Steven could not obtain a Spousal Visa routinely made available to international spouses of US Citizens in opposite sex marriages. But when SCOTUS overturned the offending section of DOMA the court could recognise Steven and Sean*s marriage and, thanks to Gabe*s 644 meter dash, the deportation proceedings were halted.
Thanks to the Rachel Maddow Show for this wonderful story
The overturning of DOMA, the federal recognition of same sex marriages, radically changes the lives of those US citizens who are legally married. Spouses can receive all of the benefits entitled to married couples. Income tax returns are now different. Military families can now live on base and receive entitlements. Spouses can now be considered as next of kin and cannot be refused access to their dying partners when they are in hospital. (Yes, sadly, that really does happen.)
And a blogger half a world away and half a day ahead, sitting in his bed and reading the live feed twitter updates, shed a tear.
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,