The brief, authored by DOMA lawyer Roberta Kaplan,
has been signed by 207,551 supporters in all 50 states
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization announced that 207,551 Americans from all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined as signatories on its unprecedented “The People’s Brief” in support of marriage equality. Authored by prominent lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who successfully defeated the key section of The Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) before the Supreme Court in 2013, The People’s Brief has more signatories than any other amicus brief that has ever been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Signatories on the brief include LGBT citizens, family members and friends of LGBT individuals, and other fair-minded Americans who believe that the U.S. Constitution guarantees marriage equality for all, regardless of their sexual orientation. Notably, more than 28,000 people signed The People’s Brief who live in one of the four Sixth Circuit states (Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky) where gay couples cannot currently marry and where cases are currently pending before the Supreme Court. Additionally, nearly 20,000 signatures – or about ten percent of the total number of signatories – came from the state of Texas alone, where the fight for marriage equality continues as well. Not surprisingly, there were also relatively large numbers of signatories from other states such as Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi where gay couples currently are not allowed to get married.
The People’s Brief will be formally submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, March 6, 2015, with every single signatory’s name included as part of HRC’s unprecedented effort to show the Supreme Court the broad-based support for marriage equality nationwide.
“Each and every signature on this brief – more than 200,000 of them – is a piece of evidence that this country is ready for marriage equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Through this historic document, the American people, LGBT and allies alike, are standing shoulder to shoulder to insist on fairness for all. Ultimately, this brief tells a simple truth – the Constitution cannot tolerate discrimination, and it's time for all couples to be treated equally under the law.”
“The People’s Brief is yet further proof that the time is right for the Supreme Court to recognize the simple proposition that all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, and regardless of the state in which they live, are entitled to be treated the same under the law, including with respect to the right to marry the person who they love,” said lead counsel on the brief, Roberta Kaplan. “The history of our country shows that ‘times truly can blind.’ Today, Americans in all 50 states can now understand that the families of their gay brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends have the same dignity and deserve the same recognition and respect as all other families.”
Edie Windsor, the trailblazing plaintiff at the heart of the Windsor case that defeated DOMA in 2013, was the first person to sign The People’s Brief.
“I have said that the word marriage is a magic word - and it should be available to every person,” said Edie Windsor. “I'm so proud that more than 200,000 Americans joined me in signing the People's Brief, urging the Supreme Court to allow every person to marry the person they love and to live openly and with dignity.”
The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a set of cases challenging remaining state marriage bans in late April, and is expected to resolve the issue of national marriage equality once and for all in a ruling this summer.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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