DOMA Goes Down: In Their Own Words

Rainbow flags soar overhead as “Celebrate” by Kool & The Gang and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga blares over the sound system. The hundreds-strong crowd of LGBTQ community members gathered here in front of downtown Seattle’s US Court of Appeals are smiling, dancing and embracing.

They are firefighters. Politicians. Drag queens. Proud parents. They are gathered together to recognize the Supreme Court’s historic decision earlier that day to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. For the first time in a long, long time, the LGBTQ community here in Seattle feels like it’s winning. With the passage of Referendum 74 allowing them to legally marry locally, and now the historic DOMA win on a federal level, the crowd here can feel the dominoes falling, one by one. We asked them one simple question: “How does it feel to be winning?” These are their responses (to see their smiling faces, click on the photos to the right):

“It feels glorious, It feels amazing to share this amazing day with every LGBT person practically in the world at this point. It feels amazing, glorious… and it feels like a blessed day. Truly a blessed day. It’s pride. It’s celebrating pride this time. It’s a beautiful thing to say that there will be children born after this day who won’t know anything about DOMA.”

-- Miss Gay Seattle, Aleksa Manila (Pictured with Mayor Mike McGinn)

“It feels amazing. I woke up this morning so emotional just reading all of the Facebook stream going down and seeing ‘DOMA is Dead.’ It was amazing—really emotional. It feels so cool to be a part of something so big and just being able to… finally being equal.”

Taylor Philpott

“It feels like a great day to celebrate before we gear up for a lot more battles. I think everyone has to stop themselves these days and kind of reflect on how quickly things are changing. It’s really important to remember that hundreds, well, especially these last 40 years of activism have brought us to this point so I don’t like to think, ‘Oh! This happened overnight!’ because people spent their entire lives getting us here. But then when you think of the pace of change in the last five years… Yeah. You have to kind of stop every once and a while and go, ‘this is amazing.’ It’s historic. Plus, you know the gays love a chance to party.”

-- Jodi Denney, Firefighter

“It’s very exciting. I was just noting that our children will grow up essentially only knowing us as legally married under the law. We were married in Canada in 2009 so we’ve already been married for years, but it makes tax times a heck of a lot simpler for us, but really it’s just neat for our kids. They have two married parents without qualifications or explanations… they’re just married.”

-- Lisanne Dinges with her wife Emily Dinges and their children Oscar and Vera

“I was telling all the kids on the way here, ‘You are going to remember this. You are going to tell all your grandkids when you are old that you were here on this historic day.’ It feels great.”

-- Amy Hallmon, Mother

“Well we have been together 37 years, married legally in Canada 10 years. When we got married in Canada, we had no idea that this would ever happen here. I feel like so much has happened this week—with the ex-gay movement kind of going into a major crash, there’s just been a lot going on. So I just… I just keep pinching myself. For me growing up in the Jim Crow south and having white and colored borders out and all that, I’m so glad that kids won’t remember that stuff. They’ll maybe have a history about it, they’ll know about it, but they will never experience it. I think that this is the coolest thing.”

-- Jeff Hedgepeth

“It’s fantastic. We were married in San Francisco in 2008, and we’ve been a couple for 25 years, so today it’s very nice at the federal level to have our marriage be recognized. It’s just not going to be an issue—it’s wonderful, it’s like a whole new start.”

-- David Anderson and Troy Buckner

 
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