- April 2, 2015
This month, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments as they prepare to decide whether the U.S. Constitution allows for states to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry or refusing to recognize their marriages performed in jurisdictions where they are legal.
While the historic Supreme Court cases in 2013 (United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry) struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and brought marriage equality back to California, the current case before SCOTUS has the potential to allow for nationwide marriage equality. While over 80 marriage equality cases have worked their way through the judicial system across the country, now, finally, this decision by the highest court in the land could allow same-sex couples to enjoy the same marriage protections and basic rights as their different-sex counterparts.
Marriage equality will ensure that same-sex couples will be recognized on the state level for tax purposes, healthcare decision making, and inheritance determinations. On the federal level these couples will also gain access to critical lifeline benefits like Social Security and Veterans spousal benefits-- programs that have remained out of reach for couples living in states that do not recognize their marriage.
Earlier this week, it was announced that champion LGBT Attorney Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director for Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, a former assistant U.S. solicitor gender, will represent named plaintiff Jim Obergefell and all fellow plaintiffs from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Within the next three months, our country will finally reach the moment of truth. As HRC President Chad Griffin explained, “The facts are clear, the arguments have been heard by dozens of courts, and now the nine justices of the Supreme Court have an urgent opportunity to guarantee fairness for countless families, once and for all.”