Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges in DOMA, Prop. 8 cases
The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would hear a challenge to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), a 1996 law targeting same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law. Lower federal courts have previously found DOMA unconstitutional. The high court will also hear a challenge in the case of California’s Proposition 8. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has previously ruled that Prop. 8, which denies same-sex couples the freedom to marry, is unconstitutional.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“The nation’s high court has agreed to consider one of the most defining civil rights issues of our time. Marriage equality touches our community’s hearts and affects our wallets, and the DOMA and Prop. 8 cases present the Supreme Court with a monumental opportunity to affirm our Constitution’s promises of liberty, equality and human dignity.
“We simply want to be treated fairly, and to be able to provide for and protect our families, just as everyone else does. Yet DOMA makes this impossible by denying legally married same-sex couples vital federal protections available to every other married couple in this country. This includes Social Security, health insurance, retirement savings and veterans’ benefits. Couples who have made a lifelong commitment to each other through marriage are being treated as strangers in the eyes of their own federal government. This is unconscionable, and as lower courts have deemed, unconstitutional.
“The recent election signaled just how far we’ve come on the path toward treating all families fairly, with landmark statewide victories affirming the right of loving, committed same-sex couples to share in the celebration and responsibilities of marriage. This long road to the high court has been filled with thousands of personal conversations about why marriage matters to us, and of how discrimination hurts our families.
“The transformative nature of talking about our love and our lives is clear, as we saw with the recent sweeping statewide marriage victories, and in the fact that the majority of Americans now supports the freedom to marry.
“But the journey is not finished, for as long as DOMA and Prop. 8 remain intact, then true equality remains out of reach. It’s time the Supreme Court strike down DOMA and Proposition 8, once and for all.”