#0054 RIP DOMA

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On Dec 8, The House of Representatives gave final passage to landmark legislation protecting same-sex marriages. When Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) back in 1996, banning same-sex marriage by limiting the definition of marriage to the Union of one man and one woman.

That moment crushed millions of hearts. Yet, almost a quarter of a century later, those hearts and souls can rest at ease knowing their ‘ other love’ is protected.

I love this quote from Barney Frank, the former Democratic congressman and the first House member to come out as gay. ‘I was here for the birth of Doma, so I am very grateful to be able to be here for the funeral.’

Let’s not forget Edith ‘Eddie’ Windsor, born to a Russian Jewish immigrant family of modest means. Who became a Master’s in Mathematics from New York University. Then a Technology manager at IBM. Also, an LGBT rights activist, the lead plaintiff in the 2013 Supreme Court of the United States case United States v. Windsor overturned Section 3 of DOMA and was considered a landmark legal victory for the same-sex marriage movement in the United States.

Did you know that in the late Spring of 1965, when Windsor started dating Thea Spyer to keep their relationship a secret from her co-workers, Windsor invented a relationship with Spyer’s fictional brother Willy – a childhood doll belonging to Windsor?

Then in 1967, Spyer asked Windsor to marry, although not legal anywhere in the United States proposed, with a circular diamond pin instead of a traditional engagement ring. In Jan of 2013, then across the pond, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into the UK Parliament.

As of 2022, Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is legally performed and recognised in 33 countries, constituting some 1.35 billion people (17% of the world’s population). On Feb 17 2023, a law allowing same-sex marriage will come into force in Andorra.

However, by royal decree on Apr 1 2001, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands passed the first law providing marriage between same-sex couples. Hats off to the House of Representatives for making a difference for millions of Americans and a beacon of hope for billions more.

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An LGBTQ+ writer living and working in Birmingham UK. A published writer whose new book (due Summer 2022) a memoir tells of how he as a young man in an Edinburgh slum from 1970 - 1990s fought through poverty, violent abuse, the Mormon Church, the British Army, marriage and fatherhood. Whilst all the while struggling to understand his sexuality and inner spirituality leading him to make a decision that could shatter his life and the lives of those he loves most. Will the weight of the past drag him back down? Or will he rise and triumph against all the odds? He has written short stories on of which titled 'Oh Mum' a fiction based on actual events published in an online magazine at http://shortsmagazine.com in the Summer 2021 edition. He has written a clutch of Flash Fiction, poems, a radio comedy, and has a weekly blog on his website http://www.tomgalewriter.com He lives with his partner and are engaged to be married.

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