06.26.15

[BREAKING] Leahy REAX On Supreme Court’s Decision In Marriage Equality Cases –

[The Supreme Court ruled in 5 to 4 decision Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges et al. that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all couples to marry.  The result is that every American will now be permitted to marry the person they love, regardless of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined in filing an amicus brief urging the Court to rule that the Constitution protects the right of LGBT individuals to marry.]

“This is an historic day, and this is a joyous day, especially for the Americans whose rights to marriage equality have been affirmed in this momentous decision.

“The Supreme Court sided with love, justice and dignity over bigotry and intolerance.  By holding that the Constitution protects the right of each American to marry the person they love, the Court vindicated the principle of ‘Equal Justice Under Law,’ which is engraved in Vermont marble above the Supreme Court building.  While some have said that the journey to marriage equality has been swift, the reality is that for too many Americans, the wait has been long. 

“Nearly five decades ago, the Supreme Court held in Loving v. Virginia that states could not deny their citizens’ love and marriage based on the evil of racial discrimination.  Today’s ruling means that love and marriage will not be denied by the evil of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  These historic rulings are both based on the principles of liberty and equal protection commanded by the 14th Amendment.  It is fitting that this month we celebrate the 149th anniversary of the passage of that very amendment in the Senate – an amendment that has protected us not only from racial discrimination, but also against gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity discrimination.

“From this day on, Obergefell will take its place in history alongside Loving and Windsor as a symbol of our nation’s commitment to love, equality, and freedom.”

 

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Further Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy

 

“Because of today’s decision, the Jim Obergefells of the future will no longer be required to travel hundreds of miles to another state to marry their partner.  The children of future parents like April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse will no longer be told that their parents’ union is a second-class marriage.  And the federal government will no longer deny social security protections or veterans’ benefits to couples like Vermonters Raquel Ardin and Lynda DeForge, who both served the country they love in the Navy and would have been denied their lawful veterans’ benefits had they lived in a state that refused to recognize their marriage.  These individuals know that state-sanctioned discrimination has been harmful to their families, but that ends today.

 

“In 2009 Vermont’s was the first legislature to enact marriage equality into law.  The Supreme Court’s ruling today follows the lead of Vermonters who stood up for love and equality in the face of injustice.  Together with Americans across the land, I am deeply proud of Vermont’s example and Vermont’s leadership.  Our nation has come a long way in the march for equality but our efforts must continue.”

 

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