FilAms praise verdict on gay couples
MANILA, Philippines—Michelle Manangan, 38, a Filipina American from New York City, said her phone was "buzzing non-stop" on the morning of Wednesday, June 26 (June 27 in Manila). She was ecstatic to hear that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared as unconstitutional the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
She wasn't surprised. “I was kind of expecting it. I had a feeling that the tides of change will turn. More people now than ever before support equal rights and gay marriage. It is no longer a question of gay rights but civil rights,” Manangan, an LGBT rights advocate, told Rappler.
Manangan is a fashion stylist and event producer who works in San Francisco. She is transgendered. “I’m hoping to get married one day, but I told my boyfriend before any talk of marriage—put a ring on my finger first,” she said.
Proposition 8, a California referendum that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage initiative was also repealed in another Supreme Court decision.
Epee Rafanan, a retired San Francisco resident said that he welcomes the decision but is not completely satisfied. “It’s a partial victory, but a victory is a victory,” Rafanan told Rappler. “There are still hurdles to overcome, but in my heart of hearts, I know the day will come for a full victory,” he said. “The rise in public opinion favoring marriage equality will buoy up the fight.”
The court stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of gay marriage, but effectively allowed courts to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses in California.
Same-sex newlywed couples were issued licenses in various cities across the state in 2008, until Proposition 8 passed in the November ballot that year.
President Barack Obama openly Tweeted messages of support for the decision saying “when all Americans are treated equal—no matter who they are or whom they love—we are all more free.”
Rafanan said he has discussed the possibility of marriage with his partner. Now he has a greater chance of actually being able to do it.— With reports from AFP/Rappler.com