NBJC Applauds the U.S. Supreme Court Marriage Equality Rulings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 26, 2013 – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings in favor of loving and committed same-sex couples in two landmark marriage equality cases. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation's leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauds the Supreme Court for standing on the right side of history.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two historic cases: Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California's Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, the case challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Both cases were said to have the potential to dramatically change the trajectory of the movement for LGBT equality.
With Section 3 of DOMA now struck down, same-sex couples who are married and living in one of the 12 freedom to marry states, or the District of Columbia, are now eligible for the federal protections and responsibilities afforded all other married couples. The Supreme Court's ruling against Proposition 8 will once again allow the state of California to recognize same-sex unions under the law.
"Antiquated laws like Proposition 8 and DOMA disproportionately harm LGBT people of color, and ultimately our nation," says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. "Today is a victorious day for our community, our families, and our love."
"I am thrilled that the Supreme Court ruled on the side of love and equality," says The Honorable Darryl Moore, Berkeley (CA) City Council Member and NBJC Board Chair. "My partner and I were able to get married before Prop 8 passed. Now all loving and committed couples in the state of California will have that opportunity, along with the federal protections that come with the freedom to marry. NBJC will continue to push forward until this freedom is granted in every state of this great country."
Leading up to the historic decisions, the NBJC team and volunteers joined a coalition of supporters of marriage equality outside the Supreme Court on both days of the hearings, with Lettman-Hicks addressing attendees at one of the rallies. In an effort to mobilize our Black LGBT and ally contingency, NBJC released a series of postcards featuring Black same-sex couples urging our community to show up and show out.
More recently, NBJC has been traveling across the country for the timely release of the documentary, The New Black. The New Black is a provocative film that powerfully illustrates the story of how the African-American community is grappling with and in many ways leading the fight for the freedom to marry. For more information, visit http://nbjc.org/blog/the-new-