After the historic Supreme Court decision on marriage equality June 26th, many families across our nation are celebrating their freedom to marry the people they love. This Independence Day, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain and the establishment of our country, including the Constitution. The 14th amendment of the Constitution is the basis of the decision by the majority leaders of the Supreme Court.
The Court majority summarizes:
The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawful-ly licensed and performed out-of-State. Pp. 3–28.
This is a victory for many families, but for many others, they are still not free to love and marry the people they love. Polyamorous and blended families still face being kept apart because their commitment to each other is not legitimized in the eyes of the state.
Ricci Joy Levy, executive director of The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, commented on this contrast in an email last week and I’d like to share a few of her comments with you:
The right to family is a human right that has been acknowledged by the United Nations and the United States since 1948. Family is the most fundamental unit of social organization, but this does not mean that all families fit a single model. Preferred family forms change over time and vary across communities and cultures. In addition, within any given time and place, individuals form families that vary from one another. It is imperative that societies recognize and respect this diversity of family by creating new approaches and policies that embrace and embody these differences.
One of the key programs at Woodhull is the Family Matters Project. The Family Matters Project works to shift the national dialogue about family away from its rigid focus on marriage equality so that we can achieve recognition for all forms of family and ensure that justice for one family is justice for all families!
We are just one step ahead in the race to achieve freedom to form family that works and fits us.