Wednesday June 26th marks an important day in history as the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on a 5-4 vote. This was a historic win for gay rights activists, many of whom were vocal about their opinions on Twitter.
DOMA, an act passed in 1996 officially defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court's decision to overturn DOMA will change circumstances for married couples in the 12 states that currently allow same-sex marriages or unions. These couples will now have the same federal benefits and regulations that heterosexual couples receive.
"DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty," wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. "It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others."
The Role of Twitter & Other Social Media Outlets
Many people anxiously awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court, including myself, turned to social media for answers. Wednesday at 10 a.m. Washington time, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in this case and twitter blew up. Tweets such as "DOMA struck down! Great step towards equality!" and "DOMA unconstitutional!" were all over twitter! Obama started trending as well as hashtags such as #MarriageEquality and #LoveIsLove.
Do you think that social media aided the Supreme Court's decision? I wonder how the idea of marriage equality has changed since the integration of social media into our lives? 10 years ago, many of us would not have been exposed to the massive amount of information coming at us in the form of tweets, pictures, hashtags, and posts regarding the fight for marriage equality. For instance, just a few months ago the logo for the Human Rights Campaign went viral on Facebook as Illinois made gay marriage legal. This logo quickly spread the word about equality and how important it was to so many people on social media.
Do you think that the Supreme Court's decision would have possibly been delayed a few years without outlets such as social media? Let us know what you think about social media's role in this!