Experts from Drexel’s Earle Mack School of Law and School of Public Health are available to comment for news stories about today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
David S. Cohen, associate professor, Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law:
Today the Court took a big step forward toward full equality, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Gay and lesbian couples cannot marry in 37 states, and the federal law that allows states to deny lawful marriages from other states remains intact. The Supreme Court’s decision should be celebrated for recognizing the gross inequality of the Defense of Marriage Act, but the Court fell short of announcing what should be a basic principle under the Constitution: no one should be treated differently in any context because of their sexual orientation.
Dr. Robert I. Field, professor, Drexel University School of Public Health and Earle Mack School of Law:
This is an important ruling as Obamacare goes into effect. Health care is now more widely available to partners in same-sex couples. We are increasingly becoming a society that recognizes that no one should be denied health care – period.
Dr. Randall Sell, associate professor and director of the LGBT Health program, Drexel University School of Public Health:
In public health we judge the merits of a program or policy based upon two fundamental criteria. These are the ability of the program or policy to 1) extend life and/or 2) improve quality of life. Scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that through a variety of mechanisms the ability to marry both extends life and improves its quality. Marriage impacts health by providing access to health insurance and social support among many other things. From a public health perspective extending the ability to marry to same-sex couples is one of the simplest and least expensive ways we have available to improve health.
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This post may be updated as more information and commentary become available.