Pride At Work
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled today to affirm the right to marry for same-sex couples across the nation. Pride at Work celebrates this historic victory for marriage equality and the LGBTQ community. Executive Director Jerame Davis reacts:
"Today's momentous victory in the Supreme Court has affirmed what we already knew - the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law and that includes the right to marry for same-sex couples. We are ecstatic that this ruling will finally deliver equality and justice to families in every state of our great nation. We hope the states will move quickly to implement this ruling.
"The opponents of marriage equality have predicted doom and despair at each stage of this long journey to equality, but love and commitment are not values that undermine our national heritage. Today's ruling underscores the importance of marriage in our society and upholds the dignity and value of the lives of LGBTQ Americans.
"But we are not done. In 29 states, same-sex couples who take advantage of their right to wed may face serious complications with their job, housing, and public accommodations. The very real possibility that a worker could marry the person they love on Saturday and then get fired from their job Monday morning when they show pictures around the water cooler is a looming threat to many workers who do not enjoy the protections of a union collective bargaining agreement. While a union contract will protect workers in the workplace, not every workplace is a union shop, which is why we need a comprehensive national non-discrimination law to protect these workers on the job, at home, and in the public square.
"We have won a major victory today, but the backlash will be swift. Our comrades in the labor movement rejoice with us in our victory and will stand with us to fight the battles ahead. We are one union and one nation. Both are stronger today."
Indiana Democratic Party
John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn same-sex marriage bans in all states thereby recognizing same-sex marriages across all states and territories in the United States.
"In Indiana, we believe a good government is one that solves today's problems and improves the overall well-being of hardworking families. Today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow full marriage equality nationwide reaffirms this principle. The hard work and efforts of so many in Indiana is now not only vindicated, but also lets same-sex couples know they are on equal footing to their peers. While we still have more work to do to ensure every single Hoosier is protected under our civil rights statutes in Indiana, today's ruling shows that we're one step closer to equality under the law. That is a freedom we should all be proud of."
Freedom To Marry
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
"Today's ruling is a transformative triumph decades in the making, a momentous victory for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love. For anyone who ever doubted that we could bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice, today the United States again took a giant step toward the more perfect union we the people aspire to. Today the Liberty Bell rings alongside wedding bells across an ocean of joy.
"With the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the justices affirmed what a super-majority of Americans had come to understand: the freedom to marry is a precious, fundamental right that belongs to all, and that same-sex couples and our families share the same dreams and needs as any others.
"Today's win is the culmination of a decades-long campaign that successfully made the case in the court of public opinion, enabling victories in the courts of law.
"Freedom to Marry calls on state officials to swiftly and faithfully implement the Constitution's command in the remaining 13 states with marriage discrimination, so that all Americans can marry the person they love and build and protect their families, without delay, throughout the land.
"While the work towards equality for all Americans is far from over, the Freedom to Marry campaign has been transformative in Americans' understanding of who gay people are.
"The movement will continue to harness the power of the marriage conversation and win in the work ahead - including passage of a federal civil rights bill, securing state and local protections against discrimination, tending to the needs of our youth and our seniors, and ensuring that the lived experience of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is fulfilling, good, inclusive, and equal throughout the land. But the work of this Freedom to Marry campaign is now accomplished. Over the next several months, we will collaborate with key movement colleagues to smartly and strategically wind down its work and document lessons learned, and then close its doors, having achieved its goal of winning marriage nationwide and helping loving and committed couples cross the threshold to marriage and full inclusion in society, with equal justice under law."
Dr. David Kilmnick, CEO of The LGBT Network, one of the nation's largest organizations serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people throughout the lifespan, released the following statement on today's Supreme Court ruling:
"Today marks a historic day for the LGBT community as the Supreme Court has ruled that states can no longer prohibit same-sex marriage. This is an enormous victory and joyous day for loving, married couples and their families - and for equal justice under the law.
After decades of organizing, advocating and changing hearts and minds, today's decision on Marriage Equality by the Supreme Court is a game-changer in the LGBT civil rights movement. While this is not the end of our fight for full equality and justice, this victory is monumental. For thousands of married lesbian and gay couples, today's ruling means that they can better protect one another and their families no matter where they live across the United States of America."
Empire State Pride Agenda
The following can be attributed to Empire State Pride Agenda's Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer:
The Supreme Court today affirms what so many of us have long known in our hearts and practiced in our lives: love makes a family. From today forward, the full legal rights and recognition enshrined in the institution of marriage are available all across America to every family forged in the love between consenting adults, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.
Today's landmark decision will leave its stamp in the history books for generations to come. This victory is the result of decades of hard work from activists, religious leaders, labor groups, and countless others who refused to allow the bigotry of the past to define the shape of the future. For 25 years, the Pride Agenda has trained, educated, and fought alongside these champions for LGBTQ equality. In 2011, our movement made marriage equality a reality in the Empire State, bringing America one New York-sized leap closer to the nationwide freedom to marry we celebrate today.
But just as our fight did not begin with marriage, nor does it end here. Our fight does not end until every individual embodying the magnificent gender and sexual diversity possible in the human spirit is free from discrimination, free from oppression, and free from injustice.
Today, millions of LGBTQ Americans can celebrate. Tomorrow we fight so they all can.
Campaign for Southern Equality
"What a glorious day for this great country. By recognizing once and for all that the Constitution respects the dignity of all Americans, gay or straight, the Supreme Court has once again honored the core American values of equal protection and due process of law. "We are confident that Mississippi officials statewide will honor their constitutional duties and will move quickly to begin issuing marriage licenses to our clients Andrea Sanders and Becky Bickett and to the many other Mississippians who have waited so long to protect their families by marrying the person who they love,"? said Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant.
Kaplan has been lead counsel in the Mississippi District Court declared that state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, and United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and laid the foundation for today's ruling.
"LGBT families have always been equal in the eyes of God but now, finally, they are also equal under the law, with a safety net of legal protections surrounding them. With great joy, we expect that marriages will begin immediately in Mississippi and Alabama," says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Through this landmark decision, the Court has signaled that policies that treat LGBT people as second-class citizens do not fulfill the American promise of equal protection under the law and cannot stand."
National LGBTQ Task Force
The National LGBTQ Task Force is hailing today's historic United States Supreme Court marriage equality ruling.
"Today's ruling creates unstoppable momentum for LGBTQ freedom, justice and equality. It also shows that love does conquer all," said Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.
"For same-sex couples and their families across the country, this is incredible news. For millions, it affirms our faith in the promise of America -- as this ruling tears down one more barrier between LGBTQ people and true lived freedom. This ruling turns the page from national discrimination towards a new day of equality when it comes to recognizing our relationships."
"As we celebrate this victory, we also have South Carolina community in our thoughts and prayers."
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry the person they love in their home state, or in any state. As a result of this historic ruling, same-sex marriage is legal in every state and in U.S. territories. States must perform marriages and recognize them from other states.
"Now same-sex couples who choose to get married will gain access to all of the rights, protections and responsibilities associated with marriage. These include: health care, Social Security, housing and income security--all key components of building a life where you can be you and reach your full potential," Carey said.
New York Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
Elated by today's historic and long-awaited Supreme Court decision, which would require all U.S. States to offer same-sex marriage, Assembly Member O'Donnell said the following:
"I am immensely proud to be American today. The Supreme Court majority opinion affirmed our entire country's commitment to its founding principles of liberty and equality. LGBT Americans are being told that their rights matter, and their humanity is recognized at a Constitutional level, not considered a matter of public opinion or individual state preference. Today's decision will have a profound impact on so many individual lives. As someone who once abandoned a dream of being an elected official and lived for over a decade in a closeted relationship, I know how important societal recognition is.
"Let us rejoice in our hard fought victory, and then use it to keep struggling for true equality, freedom from workplace discrimination, and rights for the transgender community. I know today is just the first of many national victories that will help us achieve equal treatment for all citizens, and I am eager to see what the next generation will achieve with so many more doors open to each of them."
Congresswoman Linda Sánchez
Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, today released the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges making same-sex:
National Center for Transgender Equality
Today, the US Supreme Court issued their long-awaited ruling bringing the freedom to marry to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people nationwide. In response to the historic ruling, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said:
"The U.S. Supreme Court has finally ruled that gender can no longer be used to prevent couples from marrying bringing immeasurable stability to families with transgender spouses. The National Center for Transgender Equality welcomes this ruling and acknowledges that our path to equality cannot stop here. The LGBT movement must continue our work toward the legal recognition of all kinds of families while recommitting ourselves to racial, social, and economic justice for all Americans. From securing explicit employment non-discrimination protections, to ending the unsafe detention of undocumented trans immigrants, to advancing trans-affirming policies at all levels of government, our work ahead is clearer and more achievable than ever."
Representative Alan Grayson
Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL09) today made the following statement supporting the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges
Love has conquered all! The Supreme Court has done the right thing morally and legally in confirming every American's right to marry whom he or she chooses. This day has been a long time coming, and one that heralds another advance for civil rights in America. I had the honor of serving as the ring-bearer at the first same-sex marriage in Central Florida, and I look forward to celebrating at the weddings of my gay and lesbian friends across the nation.
In an historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today declared that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violates the U.S. Constitution. The Court's decision invalidates all state statutes and constitutional amendments barring same-sex couples from marriage. Lambda Legal was co-counsel in one of the landmark cases decided today. Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart and co-counsel Al Gerhardstein of Gerhardstein & Branch issued the following statements:
"What a glorious day for equality, justice and love," Cathcart said. "For the first time, LGBT people in America will live in a nation that respects their love and their families. June 26 is a day that will stand out forever as a day of victory in the history of the LGBT rights movement in America. On this very day in 2003, Lambda Legal won Lawrence v. Texas, a groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling striking down state laws that made lesbian and gay people criminals for having private intimate relationships. And two years ago on this day, the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling in U.S. v. Windsor. Today, the Constitution and our democracy shine brightly again. "
"Still, our work is far from done," Cathcart added. "While marriage equality is an important landmark victory, our 'To-Do' list remains long. Today we celebrate--tomorrow we get back to work. We still need to fight for protections in the workplace, for people with HIV, and for LGBT youth and for justice and equality for transgender people. And, of course, we are prepared for resistance in some states as same-sex couples seek the marriage rights and responsibilities the Court has determined are theirs under our Constitution."
"Congratulations to the plaintiff couples and families who stood up for all of us," Cathcart continued, "and to our partner organizations - the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) as well as the wonderful private counsel who joined with us in bringing these cases and, ultimately, winning them before the Supreme Court. This represents the culmination of decades of hard work by all, and we are all enormously grateful and proud."
Freedom Indiana, the grassroots organization that successfully fought Indiana's proposed ban on same-sex marriage and made it clear that the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was a "license to discriminate," issued the following statement today about the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality decision.
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in Indiana. Today is the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court'sWindsor decision, which invalidated a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The statement can be attributed to Freedom Indiana campaign manager Katie Blair:
"So many families have waited so long for this day that it hardly seems real, but the Court made clear today that all Americans should have the freedom to marry the person they love.
"Freedom Indiana got its start two years ago fighting a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw the very thing the Court today recognized as "a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person." Hoosier couples won the freedom to marry last June. And now same-sex marriage is the law of the land in the United States.
"As we celebrate this victory for families across our nation, we must not forget that our work here is not done. In Indiana, you can still be fired, denied housing or turned away for service because you are gay. Without statewide nondiscrimination protections in place, LGBT Hoosiers have to seek out inclusive communities. They should feel welcome everywhere, and we'll continue our fight to update state civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
"Just as all Americans should have the freedom to marry, we want to make sure all Hoosiers have the freedom to live, work and play in our state with no fear of discrimination."
Representative Jared Polis
Representative Jared Polis (CO-02) today issued the following statement following the Supreme Court's historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to strike down same-sex marriage bans and make marriage equality the law of the land in all U.S. states and territories:
"The road to LGBT equality in America has not been an easy one. From the Stonewall riots in 1969, to an epidemic that killed hundreds of thousands of gay men; from a Supervisor assassinated for refusing to blend in, to a Wyoming college student beaten to death for his sexual orientation, that road has been paved with far too many tragic days.
"Today is not one of those. Today is a day to celebrate, as we've overcome one of our most challenging obstacles yet.
"With today's decision, the Court ruled in no uncertain terms that the bonds of love, commitment, and responsibility that all our families share exist without regard to gender and deserve the dignity of being recognized under the law.
"Despite this milestone, however, the battle for LGBT rights is not over. Marriage equality doesn't mean that a gay employee can't still be fired from his job when his boss finds out, or that a transgender individual can't still be denied housing. So while we recognize the momentous victory that we achieved today, we can't lose sight of our larger goal - a world in which being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender doesn't subject a person to discrimination and prejudice."
OutServe-SLDN Interim Executive Director Matt Thorn issued the following statement in response to today's Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which will require states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex:
"Today, our community was told by the Supreme Court of the United States that you are an American, and a citizen of the United States. Your relationship, your marriage and your family matters to our community as a country and must be respected and treated fairly under the law.
"The absence of marriage equality has cast a long shadow on families and been an attack on the very foundations of our Republic. Today, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed our founders' beliefs and the promise of our Declaration and Constitution. Today we are again a city upon a hill, leading the world to a brighter future.
"Without the leadership and persistence by the many plaintiffs, attorneys, many advocates and organizations over the years this day may not have come as soon as today. Today, the OutServe-SLDN urges all of our members, all advocates and allies, to celebrate this earth-shattering opinion by the Supreme Court.
"While we take pleasure in this decision by SCOTUS, there is still much work to do. We need open transgender military service, gender identity inclusion as a protected class in the Military Equality Opportunity Program, a comprehensive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a comprehensive immigration plan for LGBT couples and families, a renewed focus toward domestic HIV care and support, a plan to address LGBT homelessness, to name a few, but today we celebrate this victory and join together as a community in the goals and achievements that we have been able to accomplish in the last five decades.
"OutServe-SLDN also calls on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to begin immediately providing benefits to our LGB veterans and their families to ensure that all have access to their earned VA benefits, regardless of their state of residence. This is a critical step that will ensure that every member of the United States military and their families have the same access to the benefits that they have so rightfully earned in their service and sacrifice to our country. The climate of the era has changed definitively with the decision of the Supreme Court. We implore the VA to give our military families the respect, dignity and protections that they have earned. Our LGB veterans should not be denied these benefits because of the state they live in or because of their sexual orientation. They should be given these benefits because it is the right thing to do. It is the American thing to do."
"Today, love prevailed and our nation became a more perfect union by affirming that all people are indeed created equal and justice belongs to everyone," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. "With this decision, loving and committed same-sex couples can finally rest knowing their families are protected and their dignity is no longer up for public debate. But as we celebrate this watershed victory for fairness, we are reminded that marriage equality is a benchmark, not a finish line, and our work to bridge the gap to full acceptance for LGBT people continues."
"Today feels like a wedding that the entire country was invited to, and the whole PFLAG family is right up front with hearts overflowing and tears in our eyes. By affirming the rights of all loving couples to commit to each other with the full weight of legal protection that marriage affords, the Supreme Court has affirmed a founding principle that we must all continue to strive for: a more perfect union.
While we celebrate today's victory, we are dedicated to continuing and redoubling our advocacy work to secure legislation that explicitly protects people who are LGBTQ from discrimination in the workplace, in their homes, in their schools and in their communities. Now is the time to expand federal law--law which already protects people from discrimination based on race, sex, age, ethnicity, and religion--to include explicit protection from discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."
Democratic National Committee
Today, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage:
"I enthusiastically applaud the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Obergefell v.Hodges. This decision, and what it means for the LGBT community, has been a long-time coming and is the result of decades of struggle and perseverance.
"Now, same-sex couples throughout the country will be guaranteed the recognition and legal protections they so fully deserve. No longer will their families be viewed as lesser in the eyes of the law.
"Last week I had the privilege of officiating a same-sex wedding right across the street from the Supreme Court building. It was clear that the love between Alex and Robert is no different than the love I share with my husband Steve. Love is love, and love is now the law.
"Today is a day of celebration, and as we move forward from this important victory, Democrats will continue fighting to ensure that nobody in this country faces discrimination because of who they are or whom they love."
Equality Ohio executive director Elyzabeth Holford has released the following statement about today's marriage equality victory at the Supreme Court.
"Today the Supreme Court affirmed what we have always known: we are equal.
Today, across America, the law of the land finally matches our truth: we are equal.
Today, as an attorney, an advocate, and a woman deeply in love I can say to my fiancée, my family, and my friends: we are equal.
Yes, we are celebrating. And Equality Ohio will continue working for legal and lived equality across this great state.
We work for fully inclusive nondiscrimination laws. We work for economic justice, for racial justice, for transgender justice, and for issues that affect our aging and youth populations. With today's victory, our work is refreshed and renewed and re-invigorated."
Marriage Equality USA
"Today is a day that will long be remembered in our nation's history. Today, the United States Supreme Court established once and for all that LGBTQ Americans, like all other Americans, have the fundamental freedom to marry the person they love in every state of our union," said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA Legal and Policy Director. "The Supreme Court's decision recognizes our common humanity and makes clear that LGBTQ Americans should be embraced as a vital part of our nation's fabric. The decision establishes an important legal precedent that will pave the way to ending all discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Indeed, the decision stands as a beacon of hope for true equality for all Americans."
"Celebrations of this dream come true will be taking place all across our country, from Jackson, Mississippi to El Paso, Texas to Seattle, Washington," said Marriage Equality USA Executive Director Brian Silva. "Americans from every corner of this nation have worked for decades for this moment by sharing our stories of love, commitment, and family. Founded nearly 20 years ago, Marriage Equality USA is the nation's oldest organization created for the specific purpose of achieving the freedom to marry nationwide. We are thrilled this day has finally come."
"Thousands of people were working for marriage equality decades prior to the explosion of interest after Proposition 8 passed," noted Christine Allen, Marriage Equality USA Communications Team. "This includes the brave couples who stood up for the right to marry in the early 1970's, when they had no support network whatsoever. We would not be celebrating today if not for the work of those pioneers. Today we honor them, and thank them. Today represents the culmination of their courage and perseverance."
One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing made the following statement marking today's rulings from the Supreme Court:
"This is an historic marriage equality case. It is an enormous victory and a joyous day for loving, married couples and their families across this nation. Today, the Supreme Court recognized the validity of our families by allowing them to fully share in the freedom to marry. For thousands of gay and lesbian couples, this means that they can better protect one another and their children because they will finally be included in the federal and state safety nets of marriage, with more than 1,100 federal benefits from which they were previously excluded. It means that these loving couples are now accorded the same rights and responsibilities as any other.
We celebrate the fact that same-gender couples can now legally marry across the United States. Our nation's highest court stood on the right side of history today, demonstrating why our courts matter."
Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus praised the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Obergefell v. Hodges decision in favor of marriage equality. The Equality Caucus issued the following statement in response to today's decision:
"The Supreme Court's decision will bring respect and stability to millions of same-sex couples across this country," Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn said. "This is a momentous decision, recognizing that for too long same-sex couples have lived without the rights and responsibilities of legal marriage. Now, millions of LGBT Americans know that their courts recognize their love, their dignity, and their families. The Supreme Court's decision acknowledges what we have always known: LGBT families deserve protection and equality."
"While the importance of this decision cannot be overstated, it is not the end of the LGBT community's fight for equality. In 31 states, it is still legal to fire or deny housing to Americans because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Across much of this country, LGBT couples who can now get legally married can then be legally fired for entering into that marriage. Now that the fight for marriage equality has been won, we need federal legislation to make the dream of full equality a reality."
Below is a quote from Dan Bruner, Whitman-Walker Health's Senior Director of Policy, on today's Supreme Court marriage decision.
"This is a great moment for LGBT people and for our nation, The Court's sweeping endorsement of the dignity of same-sex couples and families sends a powerful message that will help counteract the stigma and discrimination that still cripple the lives and hearts of so many in our community, and that undercut our health in so many ways. And, as the Court recognized, full legal recognition opens the door to health insurance and financial and legal security for same-sex families."
People for the American Way
"Today's decision is a landmark for Justice," said People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan. "It's a proud moment for our country and a testament to the decades of work done by millions of people to guarantee gay and lesbian people aren't excluded from our Constitution's promise of fairness and equal justice for all people."
"This decision should be celebrated by everyone who cares about equality for LGBT people," said Keegan. "But it shouldn't obscure the fact that we have a long way to go before we've truly achieved that goal. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in all fifty states thanks to this decision, but in 29 of those states those same couples can be fired from their jobs the moment they step out of the closet. Members of the LGBT community, especially transgender people, still face violence and intimidation simply because of who they are. Perhaps most notably, anti-gay activists are already at work trying to expand the ability of corporations and individuals to discriminate against gay couples in the name of 'religious liberty.'
"Make no mistake: today's decision is one for the history books. We have a lot to celebrate today. But we also have plenty of work left to do."