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NBJC Celebrates Historic Supreme Court Decisions During Pride Month: “…the fight for justice is not over…”

Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates several historic decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court this week, including the expansion of marriage equality nationwide. In the Obergefell v. Hodges 5-4 ruling, the nation’s highest court stated that all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, have a constitutional right to marry the person they love in every state of the union. The decision legalizes marriage for same-sex couples in the last 13 states with laws that banned it – Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas.

“It’s nothing like celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with such a groundbreaking decision that moves us closer to the bedrock principle that we all are equal under the law in our nation,” said the Honorable Darryl Moore, Berkeley, California City Councilmember and NBJC Board Chair. “Pride Month is a time that we celebrate the trials, triumphs and contributions of the LGBTQ community. Today, the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that all people have the right to marry affirms the powerful work of so many in our beloved community who organized and paved the way for us to see this day, and be respected with the dignity due to us as human beings.”

In addition to the marriage equality decision, NBJC also celebrates two other important decisions rendered by the Supreme Court this week that impact all Americans, including Black LGBT families:

  • King v. Burwell: In a 6-3 decision, the Court affirmed the constitutionality of federally funded healthcare subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this ruling, millions of consumers will be able to retain their tax subsidies under the ACA, ensuring their families retain quality health care insurance and the non-discrimination provisions under the law are applied in every state.
  • Texas Dept of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project Inc.: In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that disparate-impact claims filed under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA) are constitutional. FHA was created to eliminate discriminatory housing practices, such as zoning laws and other housing restrictions that exclude minorities from certain neighborhoods without ample justification. Under the disparate-impact doctrine, a policy can be considered discriminatory if it has a disproportionately adverse impact against any group of people, based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

    “As we continue to celebrate this historic week of progress, it is imperative that we remember that the fight for justice is not over and discrimination is still alive and well in America. We must continue to pray for the families and people of Charleston deeply impacted by the senseless act of violence and hate at Emanuel AME Church last week,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “There is still much work to be done moving forward in the pursuit of racial justice, full equality and an equitable country for all people. For those that live at the intersection of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith and many other identities, critical issues like violence against our community, access to employment and housing, stigma and hate crimes, the HIV epidemic, immigrant rights—or simply being accepted by family, houses of worship, and your community—are present barriers that prevent many in the Black LGBT community from living their most open and authentic lives. Lifting up these issues that impact the most marginalized in our communities is the unfinished business for full equality in our nation.”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.