US Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8 and DOMA Cases

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"This is an exciting moment in our journey toward equality."
December 7, 2012

(Washington, December 7, 2012) - The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it has granted review in two of the cases concerning same-sex couples: Windsor v. United States, the challenge to Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Edie Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry  the historic decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring California's discriminatory Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal, issued the following statement:

"This is an exciting moment in our journey toward equality. DOMA is a terrible law that forces our government to discriminate against loving same-sex couples, and it is time for it to go. It is clear that DOMA's days are numbered.  Every one of the cases that the Court was considering makes a clear and compelling case for striking down this outrageous and discriminatory law.  As we have throughout this litigation, we will contribute support and file a friend-of-the-court brief. We look forward to working with the ACLU and other sister organizations in making this case before the Court.  

"As for Hollingsworth v. Perry, while the Supreme Court's decision to review the Ninth Circuit's correct and carefully-worded ruling delays the restoration of equal access to marriage for same-sex couples in California, we believe the lower court rulings in California will stand. There is no legitimate justification for the inequality Prop 8 imposes on same-sex couples, and two federal courts have already ruled against it.  

"We will continue to support this case brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights as we have in the past, by filing a friend of the court brief. They have forcefully made the case that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and that there was no valid reason to deprive California same-sex couples of the freedom to marry. Securing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples is inevitable, and we look forward with confidence to the day when we can celebrate the final demise of Prop 8.  And if the Supreme Court finds that the proponents of Prop 8 did not have right to appeal, same-sex couples in California will again have the right to marry."

In addition to Windsor v. United States, the Supreme Court had petitions for review in Lambda Legal's DOMA case, Golinski v. OPM, and two other DOMA challenges, Gill v. OPM, and Pedersen v. OPM, both brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Courts in all of these matters ruled Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

In Hollingsworth v. Perry, Lambda Legal joined with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union for Northern California, and Equality California to file friend-of-the-court briefs throughout the litigation, and the group's brief was relied upon significantly in the historic Ninth Circuit decisions. The groups will continue to fulfill this role as the case continues through the Supreme Court.