HRC Praises Nevada Couples for Taking the Case for Marriage Equality to Court

by Charles Joughin

Lambda Legal Files Lawsuit Challenging State Discrimination

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today applauded Lambda Legal for filing a case on behalf of four same-sex couples in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (Sevcik et al. v. Sandoval et al).  The case asserts that Nevada is violating the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by providing gay and lesbian couples with nearly all of the state law rights and responsibilities afforded spouses, but withholding the designation of marriage.

“Gay and lesbian couples in Nevada have nearly all the privileges and responsibilities of marriage but are relegated to second class status because they are denied marriage equality,” said Joe Solmonese, HRC president. “A separate and unequal marriage system harms LGBT families and offends our nation’s constitution.  Whether it be in the court room, board room, state capitol, or town hall, our community must continue to talk about the importance of marriage equality to our families.”

Currently, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and the District of Columbia provide for marriage equality.  Washington state and Maryland passed laws in 2012 to begin granting same-sex marriage licenses, but the issue of marriage equality in these states must survive likely voter referenda this fall.  Voters in Maine will decide in November whether to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples there.

Review of the constitutionality of Proposition 8 – which took away marriage equality in California – is ongoing in Perry v. Brown.  Most recently, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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