Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases involving marriage for gay couples. In the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the Justices ruled the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1993 policy that denies married same-sex couples equal protection under the law, unconstitutional. In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Court dismissed the case, leaving in place a Federal District Court ruling that found Prop 8, California’s ban on marriage for gay couples, unconstitutional.
In response to these decisions, Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, the state’s leading advocacy organization for gay and transgender people, released the following statement:
“The striking down of DOMA brings about a joyous day for loving, married couples and their families. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.
The historic ruling on Prop 8 means the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California. Now same-sex couples can legally marry in 13 states and Washington, DC, and more than 93 million Americans – nearly a third of the population – live in a jurisdiction with marriage for all families. Because of today’s rulings, all of these families now have access to comprehensive federal and state protections to take care of the ones they love.
While this is a day of celebration for legally married same-sex couples, 37 states — including Pennsylvania — still treat gay and lesbian citizens and their children as unequal and second-class. But work to win the freedom to marry here in the commonwealth will continue.
People all across the country, and right here in the Keystone State, are ready for a conversation about marriage. In the months and years ahead, we look forward to talking with our neighbors about why marriage matters to all Pennsylvania families.”