Today is a historic day! The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. It is great day for same-sex couples and for the United States to finally recognize that all loving, committed couples have an equal right to marry. Same-sex couples and their families will now have the respect that their relationships deserve.
I am proud of the work NOW did to help achieve this victory. As early as 1995 NOW declared that “marriage is a fundamental right that must not be denied to same-sex couples.” In 2004 the NOW PAC felt so strongly about the importance of marriage equality that support for it became an endorsement criterion. And in that same year NOW passed a resolution elevating our work on marriage equality to a National Action Campaign. The national action campaign began with a focus on education – education of ourselves; candidates and elected officials; and the public. Several years later, we became involved in state legislative campaigns and ballot initiatives.
In 2011 NOW re-focused its efforts, working on marriage equality legislation and ballot initiatives. NOW activists worked hard to help achieve marriage equality in 9 states from 2011 to 2013 through state legislation and successful ballot initiatives in 2012. In other states NOW activists continued to work on education and building public support laying the foundation for further progress.
Since the Windsor Decision in June 2013, when the focus shifted to the courts, NOW’s Marriage Equality National Action Campaign also shifted its focus to demonstrating visible support for marriage equality.
These efforts all contributed to the historic victory that we celebrate today. I want to thank NOW activists for their courage in taking strong positions and for working so hard to make this day a reality.