by Colleen Flaherty
In stark contrast to yesterday’s ruling – which crippled the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in two cases.
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In a statement issued today, Arizona teacher and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel commended the court’s decision.
“What we have witnessed today is a major milestone in American history—a monumental decision and a huge step forward for civil rights,” said Van Roekel.
The first ruling, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, will mean federal recognition of same-sex marriages in the 13 states and the District of Columbia where these marriages are already legal. The second decision let stand a lower court ruling that struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Van Roekel, who represents more than 3 million educators nationwide, said that while this decision is a huge step for same-sex couples and their families, the struggle for civil rights continues.
As an educator, I cannot help but be moved by the thought of all of the children and students we serve whose families will now be made whole. I am reminded of the struggle, and I think of how far we, as a society, have come to let love overcome hate and bigotry.
“At the same time, today’s victory is tempered with the reality of yesterday’s decision, which dealt such a horrible blow to the progress we’ve made in our journey to achieve racial equality. The fight for social justice goes on, and because of what we do and who we serve, we will always be on the front line of this battlefield.”
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