NOTE — FOR MORE, READ: Breaking: Supreme Court To Hear Prop 8 And One DOMA Case
Just minutes ago, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two iconic same-sex marriage cases that have been in the public eye for several years, California’s Prop 8 law and the case of Edie Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
LGBT organizations have released statements, which we are publishing for you in full, below. Stay tuned and refresh the page as we will update as soon as each weighs in.
New statements will be added to the bottom of the page.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
MILESTONE FOR LGBT EQUALITY:
Prop. 8, DOMA Will Have their Day in Court
Supreme Court to hear constitutional challenges to discriminatory marriage laws
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today heralded the news that the Supreme Court would hear the Hollingsworth v. Perry case challenging California’s Prop. 8 and the Windsor challenge to the discriminatory ban on federal recognition of married same-sex couples known as the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin – who also co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is the sole sponsor of the Perry lawsuit – released the following statement:
“Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage. The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term. As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past.
“Proposition 8 has been already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else. I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.
“We are also thrilled that the pernicious and ridiculously named Defense of Marriage Act will have its day in court. I am confident that the Justices will find this law patently unconstitutional and the federal government will get out of the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it doesn’t.
“The real heroes today are the brave plaintiff couples who willingly put their lives on trial in order to secure protections for their families and others like them. Our country owes a debt of gratitude to Kris Perry and Sandy Stier along with Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, Edie Windsor and the rest of the couples, individuals and organizations that stood up to discrimination. ThePerry case also showed that the old partisan divides are crumbling with the legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies coming together in arguing the case.
“With our wins at the ballot box last month and the fight for marriage equality reaching our nation’s highest court, we have reached a turning point in this noble struggle. We will continue the fight until the promise of our Constitution is realized for every single person in every single corner of this vast country.”
FREEDOM TO MARRY
Supreme Court Will Hear CA Prop. 8
And DOMA Discrimination Cases in 2013
Washington, DC – Today the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the the case against California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, and one of several cases against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. United States.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released this statement:
“By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.”
“Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.
“Wth the clock now ticking on Supreme Court rulings in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. By winning more states and winning over more hearts and minds, we maximize our chances of victory in court, showing the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.”
TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER
SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center celebrates the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States today to accept review of two cases that have challenged the constitutionality of laws barring access to marriage for same-sex couples. The cases include Perry v. Brown, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in that state, is unconstitutional, and Windsor v. United States, in which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.
“We are pleased that the court has agreed to decide once and for all whether these blatantly discriminatory marriage bans are permitted under our Constitution,” said Ilona Turner, Legal Director of Transgender Law Center. “These laws that unconstitutionally restrict access to marriage based solely on gender must be struck down. We are confident that the Court will stand with the slew of recent federal court decisions holding that both DOMA and Prop 8 are unconstitutional.”
“Marriage equality is an issue that affects many members of the transgender community,” added Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director. “It helps all of us when the government gets out of the business of policing people’s gender and using gender to define who gets access to important benefits. Marriage equality is an important issue for the entire LGBT community.”
Frequently, whether a transgender person’s marriage is recognized as valid or not by the government depends on what state they live in, what medical procedures they’ve undergone, and whether or not an employer or insurer or family member challenges their marriage’s validity.
Continued Davis, “We know that marriage equality alone won’t solve all of the serious challenges that the transgender community faces. But the increasing recognition of marriage equality throughout the land will, by definition, lessen government scrutiny into what a person’s legal gender is, making it increasingly possible for all of us to live our authentic lives free from discrimination.”
Transgender Law Center joined other civil rights organizations in submitting friend-of-the-court briefs in both Perry and Windsor, arguing that gender-based marriage bans violate the Constitution.
(WASHINGTON, DC) Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson released the following statement in response today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to grant cert. in Windsor v. United States.
“The Supreme Court has rightly decided to address the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and we are confident that at the end of this process, this law – just like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – will be relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”
In October 2011, OutServe-SLDN (then known as Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) filed landmark litigation on behalf of eight plaintiff couples challenging DOMA and other federal statutes that prevent the military from providing the same recognition, support, and benefits to all service members, veterans and their families. The case is currently stayed.
“The harm done to our brave service members and their families, and to our national security, by the Defense of Marriage Act is unconscionable. These are American patriots making the same sacrifices, providing the same service, and taking the same risks as their straight counterparts. They should not be treated as second class citizens,” said Robinson.
Robinson also congratulated the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, commonly known as the Prop 8 case, as well as the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The Court announced its decision to hear arguments in that case as well.
“The bravery of these plaintiffs and the tenacity of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and its founder Chad Griffin have been key catalysts in the movement we have seen across this nation on marriage equality. Today, we honor their work, applaud their leadership, and vow to keep up the fight until every American enjoys the freedom to marry under the law,” said Robinson.
FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL
FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION TO REVIEW PERRY V. BROWN AND WINDSOR V. U.S.
Washington, DC - (Dec. 7, 2012) – Family Equality Council today issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the lower court ruling in Perry v. Brown – thefederal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8 and Windsor V. United States which is a challenge to section III of the Defense of Marriage Act.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to review this case represents an historic and significant step forward in the fight for marriage equality for all American families, but especially the more than one million loving and committed parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in this country who are raising more than two million children,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.
“While our families are already bound together by love, there is no denying that the freedom to marry will strengthen them,” said Chrisler. “Denying some American families marriage also denies their children some of the basic protections they need in life as well as a sense of enduring security and stability.”
Chrisler added, “We know that according to the 2010 U.S. Census, one-quarter of all lesbian and gay couples throughout the United States are raising children. We look forward to the Supreme Court’s decision and the day when parents in all states will be able to give their families the strong legal and economic foundation that only marriage can provide.”
SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW DOMA, PROP. 8
LOS ANGELES, CA – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to the Supreme Court’s historic decision to hear the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, as well as Edie Windsor v. United States, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 3 of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act.’
GLAAD today also released profiles of couples, who plan to marry or have already married in California. Those profiles are available at http://glaad.org/marriage
“Today is a historic moment for our nation, equality and countless gay and lesbian couples, who simply want an opportunity to marry the person they love,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Our momentum is great and our resolve is strong, with the Supreme Court now poised to affirm our Constitution’s core principals of liberty, dignity and equality for all.”
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