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Family Equality Council Hails Supreme Court Rulings on Marriage Equality
The Voices of Children Key to Decision by Justices
Washington DC – (June 26, 2013) – Family Equality Council, which connects, supports and represents three million parents who are LGBT and their six million children today hailed the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – U.S. v. Windsor. on equal protection grounds and dismiss Proposition 8 – Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Today’s rulings ensure our federal government can no longer discriminate against our families and mean that loving and committed same-sex couples in California will once again have the right to marry.
“This is an historic and momentous day for millions of families in our country with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) said Family Equality Council Board Chair Alan Bernstein. “Today the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that loving, married same-sex couples and their children deserve equal protection under the law.”
Key to the rulings was an historic Amicus Brief, authored by pro-bono counsel Bryan Cave on behalf of Family Equality Council, which elevated the voices of children of LGBT parents- many of whom are part of a national public education and advocacy program, The Outspoken Generation. In writing the Windsor opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote, DOMA “… humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”
LGBT family advocate and Outspoken Generation Co-Chair Zach Wahls said the rulings reaffirm a message he has been spreading nationally since his 2011 speech before the Iowa legislature went viral on YouTube.
“This is an incredible victory for families like mine,” said Wahls. “Children of LGBT parents deserve to have our voices heard, and today we know that we were. The Supreme Court has finally recognized that our parents and our families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect under the law.”
Outspoken Generation Co-chair Ella Robinson, the daughter of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson, offered her perspective.
“For more than year, I have traveled across this country, speaking to young people like myself – raised by parents who are LGBT,” said Robinson.“ This is a great day for us, and for our families, because we know that these rulings makes our families that much stronger. These decisions are a huge step forward and I can’t wait for the day where all our families are treated equally under the law.”
Sarah Gogin, the daughter of two fathers who live in California, who have been together more than 40 years, was the named individual amicus on the brief.
“I walked my Dads down the aisle at their wedding in 2008, before California passed Proposition 8, and witnessed them vow to take care of each other forever,” said Gogin. “Now, families all over California can share the feelings of love, security and stability that come with marriage. I hope that soon the laws in other states will catch up, and that all American families will be treated equally under the law.”
Family Equality Council Board Chair Alan Bernstein acknowledged that today’s victories still leave millions of families waiting for the marriage equality.
“On behalf of the six million people in our country who have LGBT parents, Family Equality Council will continue to work towards full marriage equality,” said Bernstein. “ We look forward to the day when every family in every state has the right to marry.”