In case anyone missed it, today the California Supreme Court ruled that a statute limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional, legalizing same-sex marriages in the state. Previously, only Massachusetts allowed gay marriage, and today’s action will hopefully represent a key turning point in the battle to eliminate institutionalized discrimination based on sexual orientation.

I strongly encourage everyone to learn what the status of same-sex couples in their home state is (this map, courtesy of Wikipedia, comes in handy). Aside from California and Massachusetts, seven states and the District of Columbia recognize some form of civil unions or domestic partnerships, a good step forward but still uncomfortably reminiscent of the “separate but equal” legislation that darkened race relations until the Civil Rights Act. The Defense of Marriage Act mandates that the federal government does not recognize any same-sex marriages, even those in MA or CA, thus denying all federal benefits of marriage from any gay couples.

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