GAY YORK CITY -- As two historic days of same-sex marriage cases begin Tuesday, many gay rights activists across the country are eagerly anticipating retirement.
"If the Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8 and rules DOMA unconstitutional, I'll be overjoyed," said gay rights activist John Smith. "I mean at that point, the gay rights movement will be pretty much over."
William Francis, Smith's partner of over 30 years, shared a very similar sentiment: "Sometimes John wears me out with his participation in the gay rights movement. Quite frankly, I'm excited for all this equality mess to be done with."
Smith and Francis, whose marriage has been recognized by the State of New York for almost two years, are currently ineligible for the federal benefits of marriage thanks to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If the Supreme Court overrules the legislation, the couple will have full access to marriage benefits, effectively ending the gay rights movement.
"We're just excited for it all to be over," added Francis. "After all, once DOMA is stricken down, no one will be allowed to discriminate against gay people anymore. I'm really excited."
Prominent activists throughout the gay and lesbian community seem to be in agreement with the couple's sentiment. In a press statement issued yesterday, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force emphasized the historic nature of the decisions. "When radical LGBT activists first took a stand at Stonewall, they wanted only one thing: the right to a domesticated, conventional marriage. This week, we hope that the Supreme Court will grant them that right." The press release went on to explain that a ruling against DOMA and Prop 8 would "realize the greatest hopes and dreams of every LGBT activist everywhere."
Smith, Senior Vice President in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs, has been an active member of the gay rights movement since the early 1990s, when he first started donating to the Human Rights Campaign. Since then, he has enjoyed a robust career as an activist in the New York City gay community, regularly attending charity galas on behalf of LGBT organizations. "While I really enjoy my work as an activist, it can be exhausting. Last week alone, I had to attend four separate charity dinners," Smith explained.
When asked what he would do if the Supreme Court rules DOMA unconstitutional, Smith responded, "Oh, William and I have it all planned out. We've booked this really cute little bed and breakfast on Fire Island, where we plan to spend the whole weekend. I just really hope that it doesn't rain. That would ruin our vacation."
But for now, Smith and his partner are concerned with more pressing matters affecting their family. "I'm really worried about whether or not I'll be able to make it home from work in time to catch Modern Family this week," said Smith. "That being said, I'm still paying really close attention to the trial; a win in the Supreme Court would represent an incredible victory for the LGB community."
"Honey, you forgot the 'T' again," added Francis. "He can be pretty forgetful sometimes. Speaking of tea, can you get some from the fridge? I'm parched."
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