The National Organization for Women applauds the Supreme Court for taking up the issue of marriage equality. The justices announced today that they would hear arguments in two such cases, one involving California’s Proposition 8 and another addressing the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). NOW has taken strong stands against both laws, which restrict marriage to one man and one woman.
“Prop 8 and DOMA are blatantly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has stated before that marriage is a fundamental right. The next logical step is for the court to recognize that this right applies equally to same-sex couples,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill. “Since Chief Justice John Roberts took his seat, the court’s record on politically-charged issues is not particularly promising; but the justices’ decision upholding the Affordable Care Act shows that the Roberts Court is capable of making the right call.”
Nearly two decades ago, NOW became one of the first progressive organizations to advocate for same-sex marriage rights. NOW remains dedicated to ensuring that lesbian and gay couples’ right to marry is legally recognized in all states and by the federal government.
Voters made history just last month by approving ballot measures in Maine, Maryland and Washington that advanced marriage equality, while rejecting a Minnesota referendum that would have limited the freedom to marry. This was the first time statewide votes upheld same-sex marriage and the first time an anti-LGBT marriage amendment was defeated in a statewide vote.
“Every day, DOMA denies committed same-sex couples more than 1,000 federal benefits that opposite-sex couples receive,” said NOW Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer. “This form of discrimination stems not from any rational concern for ‘traditional’ families, but from a misguided commitment to the status quo at best and from a place of fear, intolerance and hatred at worst. It is incumbent upon the Supreme Court to rule on the side of justice and equality.”
The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in these cases in March, and decisions are likely to come in late June.