It is the biggest decision to come out of the Supreme Court in decades. On June 26, in a 5-4 decision, married same-sex couples became entitled to federal benefits through the elimination of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

It will completely shift how Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are viewed and accepted in this country forever. Despite this monumental victory, 37 states still need to be brought up to speed. We are not all equal until every state gives LGBT people the right to be married. As long as those states don't allow gay marriage, its impact still blunted.

Real progress starts with changing people's perceptions of what defines love and the personal courtesy to honor whom I choose to be under the law.

- Carlos Anaya

President Obama responded quick to the DOMA decision, saying, “The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

I would not be surprised to see states that have marriage equality help residents from other states that don’t.

I also would not be surprised about the technicality of benefits will require hours of legal studies and adjustments to each state.

Without a doubt, the sense of pride and what defines a non-traditional family is the new American reality. My mom’s dream to see me officially married to my future husband will come sooner than she thinks.   

Forget about the issue of being gay. That is old news! I grew up embracing my gayness and it was an attribute rather than a defect of character. My parents knew how to raise a gay son con Orgullo Latino. 

My parents reflect how our Latino culture has taken gigantic steps when it comes to tolerance and acceptance. Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Spain and parts of Mexico allow same-sex couples to marry. Uruguay has implemented laws to legalize same-sex marriage that will come into force in August of this year.  

Each and every country or state that follows is a win of equality. Real progress starts with changing people's perceptions of what defines love and the personal courtesy to honor whom I choose to be under the law.

How does the LGBT community benefit with the elimination of DOMA when it comes to immigration issues?   

If you want to marry someone from another country, and you’re a U.S. citizen, your spouse could now also gain citizenship through marriage. This path is available to LGBT couples because of the federal DOMA has been removed.  

And let's not forget an estimated 36,000 couples who –according to Immigration Equality– are raising more than 25,000 children within the United States, and countless others already living abroad, who were impacted by the inability to sponsor their spouse or partner for residency under the law.

Within the U.S., it is undetermined how legally married couples will be handled in those states where same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned. For instance –for a couple that marries in New York and then moves to Florida– are they still considered legally married in Florida?

In light of this historic change, all married couples need to meet with an attorney and financial advisor who specializes in same-sex planning to make sure they have their finances and legal documents in order.  

Doing away with DOMA raises technical issues beyond love or gender equality, and the remarkable decision is just the beginning of a long process concerning immigration on the state and federal levels.

MY Lifestyle Magazine is a boutique publication for chic bicultural Latinos. From health, beauty, travel, entertainment and fashion, this national publication reveals all the latest cultural styles and trends. It is the first multimedia platform for bicultural readers, as 85 percent of the content is in English and 15 percent in Spanish.

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