Double Victory at the Supreme Court!
What a thrilling day! The U.S. Supreme Court announced two historic decisions today and, once again, our world has changed. We are two steps closer to the goal of full equality for LGBT Americans.
The core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been struck down, and the freedom to marry will soon be restored in California. An ugly chapter in our nation’s history is over.
DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples. Today’s ruling strikes down that provision. It’s an enormous victory—not just for the plaintiff, Edie Windsor—but for tens of thousands of married same-sex couples and their families. Today’s decision will touch many facets of life, from health care to taxes, and from benefits at work to security in retirement.
In addition to DOMA, the Court's decision ended the Prop 8 case, which will soon restore the freedom to marry in California. The outcome reaffirms what the Court held in Lambda Legal’s historic Romer v. Evans case: A majority of voters cannot strip a minority of its rights without a good reason. Prop 8’s demise restores fairness and equality to California.
Much remains to be worked out regarding the end of DOMA. There are questions, for example, about the rights of same-sex couples who live in states where their marriages aren’t recognized. Lambda Legal and our colleagues at other LGBT organizations will take action to clarify matters and seek broad recognition of our marriages. And our legal experts will soon be answering all your questions regarding today’s decision.
Lambda Legal and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) submitted friend-of-the-court briefs in both the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. Together with many partners, Lambda Legal has fought for the freedom to marry for decades—starting in Hawaii nearly 20 years ago, and winning in California in 2008. In 2009, Lambda Legal won a unanimous decision for marriage equality from the Iowa Supreme Court. And we’re pressing ahead with marriage lawsuits in New Jersey, Illinois and Nevada.
We congratulate all the plaintiffs and our colleagues at the ACLU, their co-counsel and AFER on their hard-fought victories.
Ten years ago to the day, the Court issued its ruling in Lambda Legal’s historic victory in Lawrence v. Texas. So much has happened in the 10 years since then—because we all kept fighting for equality. There is so much more to do—thank you for your continued support.