LGBT Advocates Express Hope Over Supreme Court Decision

Leading LGBT advocates are optimistic today, after the Supreme Court announced that it would finally hear appeals on cases affecting Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act:

“We’ve come too far to give up now. The plaintiff couples of the Prop. 8 case, Kris Perry & Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo, have won their case twice before – in a federal district court in California and again in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year. I’ve been amazed by their courage since we first began planning this case back in 2009…The battle may not yet be over, but our strength as a movement is growing. Justice is on our side and we won’t stop until equality reaches every corner of our vast country.” — Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign President

“When Thea and I met nearly 50 years ago, we never could have dreamed that the story of our life together would be before the Supreme Court as an example of why gay married couples should be treated equally, and not like second-class citizens. While Thea is no longer alive, I know how proud she would have been to see this day. The truth is, I never expected any less from my country.” — 83-year-old Edie Windsor, plaintiff in the federal challenge to DOMA

“With the clock now ticking on Supreme Court rulings in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. By winning more states and winning over more hearts and minds, we maximize our chances of victory in court, showing the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.” — Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry

“I am hopeful and encouraged about today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Proposition 8 case, which is one of the most significant equal rights issues to come before the court in many decades. For the past four years we have argued that Proposition 8 is not only unconstitutional, but that it also violates the basic principles of respect, dignity and validation that every American deserves. I am confident that the Supreme Court will reaffirm these fundamental freedoms and uphold that a person’s right to be treated equally does not vanish simply because of who they are or whom they love.” — Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)

“Today’s decision to hear these two cases on same-sex marriage in the nation’s highest court is truly historic. Already, first and second circuit federal appeals courts have deemed DOMA unconstitutional, and I am pleased the Supreme Court will soon have its voice heard on this important issue. Regardless of the Court’s ultimate decision, Congress will need to do its job too. It is well past time for the federal government to recognize the marriages of all loving and committed couples and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history.” — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

“After the four victories for the freedom to marry in November’s election, what seemed impossible a generation ago is now a reflection of the heart of the American people. Our priority is restoring the freedom to marry in California, and as such, we are disappointed that loving couples must endure another round of court proceedings. But we know that our arguments will be granted a fair hearing, and that when future generations look back at our struggle, they will be glad of our perseverance and the faith in the justice that underpins our movement.”– John O’Connor, Executive Director of Equality California