Suthers' Decision to Support Discrimination Condemned by HRC and One Colorado

by HRC Staff

Colorado Attorney General Files Amicus Brief Supporting Defense of Marriage Act, Joins Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina and Utah in Defending Discriminatory Law

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and One Colorado, a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing and protecting equality and opportunity for LGBT Coloradans and their families, today condemned Attorney General John Suthers for joining an amicus brief in Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services, a case challenging the constitutionality of the denial of federal rights and benefits to married same-sex couples under the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

"It is ridiculous that, while Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley courageously stands up for all her state's married couples, Suthers attacks her fair-minded efforts all in the name of denying equal recognition to committed same-sex couples," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

"We are shocked that Attorney General John Suthers has joined this attack on same-sex couples. With all the problems Colorado is facing it is incredible that Suthers would spend time and taxpayer dollars on this lawsuit. We ask Suthers to withdraw his support," said Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado.

One Colorado is collecting signatures on a petition asking Suthers to withdraw his support of the lawsuit.

In July 2010, a federal district judge ruled it unconstitutional for the federal government to recognize some of Massachusetts's lawful marriages - those between a man and a woman - but treat similarly lawful marriages between same-sex couples as invalid. The Department of Justice has appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In their brief, the state attorneys general express their support for the Defense of Marriage Act - a law that denies more than a thousand federal rights, benefits and obligations to lawfully married same-sex couples - characterizing this discriminatory law as simply "a housekeeping tool for federal programs."

Alongside the state attorneys generals' brief are a host of other submissions supporting DOMA, including arguments from perennial anti-gay organizations like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Family Research Council (FRC) champions of the harmful and wholly-discredited "reparative therapy" the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and bank-rollers of Proposition 8 and other attacks on marriage equality, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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.

One Colorado is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing and protecting equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans and their families.

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