After months of waiting. the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down key provisions of two laws that had plagued gay civil rights proponents for many years. And the Star Trek community — where there is infinite diversity in infinite combinations — celebrated.
“Today marks a watershed moment in history and a tremendous victory for the principle of equality,” actor George Takei from the original “Star Trek” series told his followers on Facebook. “The 5-4 decision by our Supreme Court striking down DOMA affirms the universality of love — the desire of all people not only to find, but to value and affirm, a lifelong commitment to another person.”
DOMA, of course, is the Defense of Marriage Act, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996 that federally defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court decision strikes down the denial of many federal benefits afforded to same-sex couples who can legally marry in some states. At the same time, the Supreme Court denied an appeal from a lower court on Proposition 8 — the law California put in place in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages.
With that appeal denied, the lower court ruling, which overturned the law, stands, meaning that California is once again among the more than dozen other states that also legally recognize same-sex marriage. Several more have legalized same-sex unions with many benefits similar to that of a marriage.
“I heave lived nearly four score years, and have borne witness to both the heartbreak and promise of true justice and equality in America,” Takei said. “Today my heart soars, and my faith in the promise of our great nation is renewed.”
Another famously openly gay Star Trek veteran, Zachary Quinto, also shared jubilation to his Twitter followers on Wednesday.
“A great day to be gay,” said the actor who most recently played Spock in “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
“So much gratitude to all the people who fought so hard for this historic milestone. Equality forever.”
Quinto’s co-star, Simon Pegg, added “Gay weddings, [expletive] yeah! Well done [Supreme Court] on a [knockout] for DOMA. Love wins, flawless victory.”
“Star Trek” icon Nichelle Nichols, who stood up for Takei during his wedding to Brad Altman in 2008, celebrated yet another civil rights milestone she has had a chance to witness in her lifetime.
Love Won! Marriage Equality Won! Bigotry Lost!” Nichols told Twitter followers. “I’m so happy for my friends who are now free once again to marry here in California.”
Nichols co-star, William Shatner, also had some positive words to say, sharing with his Twitter followers that he was “very pleased about the Supreme Court’s ruling today on DOMA and gay marriage” in California. His good friend and fellow Enterprise captain Patrick Stewart didn’t say anything directly on Twitter, but instead quoted his “X2” co-star Alan Cumming, who said if he weren’t resting his voice, “I would shout with joy at today’s … news. Though it irks me to be grateful for equality.”
Damon Lindelof, one of the co-writers of “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” wanted to share the love in his celebration, telling his Twitter followers that he wanted to French kiss Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy “so hard right now.”
The first word from former “Star Trek: Voyager” star Jeri Ryan was “proud” when hearing about the ruling. She added that it was a “good morning, gang. Good morning indeed.”
Ryan’s good friend Jonathan Del Arco, who famously played Hugh in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “I, Borg,” said he was excited about the ruling, but quoting a line from his favorite play, “Angels in America,” he acknowledged there was still a long way to go, adding that “the great work begins!”
Jane Espenson, a popular television writer who penned the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode “Accession,” mentioned her Web series “Husbands” about a gay couple who get married, saying that her series there is now “less fictional.”
“In all seriousness, congrats to all for an important step toward the light,” Espenson added.
Robert Hewitt Wolfe, a writer and producer for TNG and DS9 who also was a showrunner for “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda,” took a much broader approach to the news.
“You know who deserves marriage?” he asked. “Any couple willing to work hard on their relationship. That’s what makes a good marriage, not God or gender.”
Another Robert, Robert Meyer Burnett, who wrote the funny Star Trek homage “Free Enterprise” in 1998, jokingly said he wanted to start a new reality series called “Gay Divorce Court.” He also had a message for those who were part of another hot-button political issue.
“The best thing pro-lifers could do is support marriage equality,” Burnett said. “More loving families for those unwanted children.”
Finally, “Trouble With Tribbles” writer and award-winning author David Gerrold has always been a man of many words. But when it came to the Supreme Court rulings, he was able to say a lot more with a lot less.
“Happy happy, joy joy!”
Update 06-27-2013: Corrected year “Free Enterprise” was released.