With Sweeping New Ruling, Candidates Should Commit to Upholding the Rule of Law

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the ruling in Obergefell v Hodges.

In a historic 5-4 ruling, today the Supreme Court of the United States found bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional—and that the fundamental right to marriage is a fundamental right for all.

"The Supreme Court’s ruling is a mandate for marriage equality that the candidates ignore at their own peril, not only because of the Supreme Court’s strong and decisive language, but because poll after poll has shown the public overwhelmingly agrees with the Court,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Candidates who continue to oppose marriage equality, particularly in the face of today’s court ruling, are going to have an increasingly difficult case to make when 60 percent of Americans support marriage equality and nearly half the country knows an LGBT couple who has gotten married or are in a committed relationship.”

A new poll released this morning by the Human Rights Campaign, conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner found that 55 percent of likely voters would be less likely to support a candidate who opposed marriage equality.

The Human Rights Campaign has released detailed background documents highlighting the anti-LGBT records of current and potential 2016 candidates. More on their records can be found at http://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/.

The Human Rights Campaign’s national survey, conducted by GQR in January, found that 60 percent of likely voters support marriage equality -- a high point in HRC’s history of tracking the issue. Those findings have been confirmed in multiple media polls since then. HRC’s survey also showed that nearly half the country knows an LGBT couple that has gotten married.

On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v Hodges, a case originating in Ohio. The arguments were consolidated under the name Obergefell, and the questions posed by the court dealt with the constitutionality of marriage bans more broadly. Prior to today’s decision, marriage equality had come to 37 states as well as the District of Columbia—representing more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.

In addition to continuing the fight to wiping away the last vestiges of marriage discrimination in all 50 states, in the coming months HRC will lead the fight for a sweeping federal non-discrimination bill—legislation that seeks to protect LGBT people and their families from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, federal funding, education and jury service.

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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