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Marriage Equality Moves Forward

By Charlotte Robinson, April 29, 2015
Our LGBT community has crossed another historic milestone with marriage equality once again in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court though we won’t likely know what the justices decide before the end of June. Here's a moving reflection from Janson Wu, GLAD Executive Director after leaving the courtroom stating, “I watched Mary Bonauto make the case for the freedom to marry to the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. The anticipation right before argument was palpable & the room was packed with a veritable 'who's who' of this movement for equality. I was incredibly moved by the significance of this moment & by Mary’s remarkable expertise. I could not be more proud, both as GLAD’s Executive Director & as a member of the LGBT community, that she was the one to stand up & represent April & Jayne, Tim & Larry & Dominique & Maurice – & all of us. Mary’s arguments reminded me why we all do this work: ‘The times can blind. It takes time to see the common humanity of people who have once been ignored & excluded.’ Mary & the two other advocates in support of marriage equality, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli & Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, argued passionately for nearly an hour & a half, & handled the rapid-fire questions they were asked with finesse & eloquence. Mary's closing words hit home & went right to the core of why this issue matters. ‘The choice is not between the Court & the State, but instead whether the individual can decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him.”
To Listen or Download Full Arguments….
LISTEN: March 9th GLAD Talks U.S. Supreme Court Case
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™



Maura Healey Massachusetts AG said...

Yesterday marked an exciting and important day for me, the issues we all stand up for, and the nation. I sat in the U.S. Supreme Court for the historic arguments that I hope will ensure marriage equality throughout the nation.

While the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether same gender couples should have the right to marry throughout our country, we in Massachusetts already know that the answer is a resounding “yes.” I’m confident that the justices will be on the right side of history and choose equality for all.

Inside and outside the Supreme Court, I was proud to carry with me your stories, your voices and our experiences leading on equality in Massachusetts. As you know, we launched a social media campaign earlier this year asking people to share stories of equality a decade on in Massachusetts. The results were amazing and we included them in the brief we submitted along with 16 other Attorneys General to the Court last month.

This is an issue our office has been fighting for since 2009, when then-Attorney General Martha Coakley filed the nation’s first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that the law discriminated against Massachusetts same gender couples and their children. In 2013, we got our first victory when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA as unconstitutional – a victory that sent shockwaves throughout the nation. I’m confident and hopeful we’ll have another victory in June when the Court once and for all agrees on equality.

This is an issue that matters to all of us, as it should. In the decade since the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision in the Goodridge case, more than 20,000 same gender couples have married here. The gay and lesbian marriage bans in other states hurt not only couples in those states but legally-married couples in Massachusetts when they travel.

Same gender couples from Massachusetts worry that their relationship with their children won’t be honored the same way as it is here if they visit or move out of state. They worry that they won’t be able to visit a loved one in the hospital if they get sick in another state.

Marriage equality has made our Commonwealth a stronger place for everyone and I’m hopeful the justices are ready to make our country stronger. Now the case has been made and I’m so honored to have been there. I hope you’ll join in our support by telling your neighbors, sharing with your friends and posting on social media with the hashtag #SCOTUSMarriage.

Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), Co-Chair Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus said...

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking the first steps to putting an end to the debate over same-sex marriage once and for all. I am hopeful and optimistic that the Court will find every American has the right to equal protection under the law, regardless of who they love.

Millions of LGBT Americans today still live as second class citizens in states which do not recognize their right to marry and do not have the same legal benefits other Americans enjoy. It’s time our nation ends LGBT discrimination.

Brian Silva, MEUSA said...

The historic hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court for full marriage equality has just concluded! Each of us here in D.C. has been inspired by today's events.

While we won't know the outcome of the day until later this summer, each of us who was in the courtroom today was awed by the skill, preparation and expertise that went into the arguments made by our legal teams.

We put our best foot forward today and made the case why each of us deserves the right to marry the person we love. Outside the court, thousands of supporters of every stripe raised their voices in support both of marriage and of our full legal equality. All across the country, in towns large and small, tens of thousands of you have, and continue to, come out to make visible the breadth our support.

We have waited decades for this day, and I could not be more proud of our entire community!

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