DOMA Unconstitutional: Are Anti-Gay-Marriage Politicians Doomed?

Today's landmark rulings by the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage have acknowledged the Founder's intent to grant liberty and equality to all Americans.

By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and finding a group of Republican lawyers lacked standing to appeal a California court's ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court made great strides towards recognizing Thomas Jefferson's inalienable rights, Abraham Lincoln's proposition of equality, and Martin Luther King Junior's dream.

Furthermore, these rulings compounded the unfurling tide of public support for same-sex marriage in the United States. Recent polls have indicated that a majority of Americans believe that the federal government should grant equal protection to gay couples. With a growing number of states legalizing gay marriage, support for same-sex couples has jumped from a mere 34% in 2000 to 55% this week. Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, with many more poised to follow suit.

This surge of support has steeply inclined in the past decade and is likely to coerce many politicians to publicly endorse gay marriage. Although only three Republican Senators currently support same-sex unions, the issue is increasingly becoming nonpartisan with a 5% increase in GOP support since 2008. More specifically, the issue seems to be generational: 63% of millennials hope to achieve full marriage equality.

The College Republican National Committee responded to the overwhelming support for gay couples by offering a "middle ground approach" in which politicians fall back on the 10th Amendment and allow states to make their own decisions on gay marriage. 

Many politicians, including notable members of the executive branch such as President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney, have already begun paving the way for America's future leaders by endorsing same-sex marriage while in office.

With this in consideration, it is inevitable that the next presidential election will heavily favor candidates with moderate stances towards advancing marriage equality in the United States.

Frontrunners on both sides of the aisle have already begun addressing the issue. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, for instance, believes that states should determine their own fate when it comes to same-sex marriage, while Newark Mayor Cory Booker ardently supports full marriage equality and was optimistic about today's Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8.

As younger generations continue to be eligible to vote, political stances that oppose gay marriage will continue to become obsolete, while politicians championing civil rights for the LGBT community will undoubtedly win at the ballot box.

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Chelsey Mullins

Chelsey received her Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego in 2012. Her academic interests include the MENA region, democratization, and Party politics. Her personal interests include the Lakers, video games, travel, and a solid California burrito.

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