The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Hollingsworth v. Perry, challenging California’s Proposition 8 that revoked same-sex couples’ ability to marry in the state.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender’s (GLAD) Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto, who successfully argued for the right of same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts, had this to say in an e-mail to supporters:
Today I had the privilege to sit in the nation's highest court and hear the clearly articulated argument that there is no justification for a state to exclude gay and lesbian Americans from the respect and dignity of marriage. ...
Attorney Ted Olson keenly made the case for equality on behalf of the California plaintiffs and gay and lesbian people everywhere - and the Justices engaged the question fairly and respectfully.
We know, and the Court has heard, that momentum - and the basic fairness and commitment to equality of the American people - are on our side. Poll after poll shows that a growing majority of Americans support the right of everyone to marry the person they love.
It is not a question of if, but when, this right will be extended to all gay and lesbian people across the country.
Tomorrow [Wednesday], the Court will hear about thousands of already married loving, committed same-sex couples - couples whose marriages are respected and celebrated by their families, friends, faith communities and the states they call home. Couples like those I'm so proud to represent in our two cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM.
My friend and colleague Robbie Kaplan will show the Court - on behalf of her client Edie Windsor, and all of us - that there is no justifiable reason for the federal government to discriminate against these marriages as it now does with DOMA.
I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts after yet another historic day.
We truly have much to celebrate, and much work to continue.
GLAD's Executive Director Lee Swislow released this statement:
We are confident this case got a fair hearing today in our nation’s highest court. Gay and lesbian couples have the same love and make the same commitment as all couples, and deserve the same recognition as full citizens.
These couples are simply asking for the government to honor their fundamental right to marry and to treat them with equal dignity and respect under the law.
Our country’s history is one of expanding the circle of constitutional rights and protections to include more citizens, and our nation is always the better for it.
We are hopeful that the court will seize this historic moment, and come down on the side of fairness, dignity and equality.
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