“All Americans are entitled to protection under the law
regardless of who they are or who they love.”
– President Obama, June 26, 2015
This morning’s Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional marks a victory for love. I can hear the chants outside my window, see it on the faces of my co-workers and feel it in my bones.
When Pennsylvania became the 19th state where same-sex couples could legally marry last year, the federal judge that overturned our state ban wrote that “we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”
Today we are all better people. We have achieved marriage equality in the United States.
“The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”
– Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion
Today is also a victory for advocates who have been fighting for marriage equality and the rights of LGBTQ community.
Women’s Law Project is proud to have filed an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief in support of marriage equality for all. We signed the brief as a member of The Alliance: State Advocates for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, an alliance of state-based women’s equality and gender justice legal organizations.
From the brief:
“The Alliance organizations’ commitment to LGBT rights initiatives over the last forty years is consistent with their understanding of the true nature of gender inequality. They believe that all forms of gender discrimination are linked, and that sexual-orientation discrimination must be analyzed as a facet of sex discrimination. Bans on marriage of same-sex couples are state-backed legal regimes that are based on and reinforce gender stereotypes that harm everyone, including LGBT people and heterosexual and nontransgender women and men oppressed by the imposition of those stereotypes. Such bans cannot stand.”
We were right: Such bans cannot stand.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to fight for the rights of women and girls, and equality. We are thrilled to share this tremendous victory for the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania and across the country with you.
-Tara Murtha, WLP Staff