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Nadler, Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, Lead Bicameral Amicus to Supreme Court on Marriage Equality Cases

The four cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky challenge state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and deny recognition to lawful marriages performed by other states.

Marriage Equality

On Friday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid along with Respect for Marriage Act co-sponsors Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced the filing of an amicus brief in the marriage equality cases that are on appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

The four cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky challenge state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and deny recognition to lawful marriages performed by other states.  The Supreme Court will decide whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and to have their marriages respected nationwide.

“State marriage bans apply across the board, limiting the right to marry and stay married when crossing state lines and preventing same-sex couples and their children from qualifying for a vast array of marriage-based state and federal rights and responsibilities, ” Congressman Nadler said.  “These laws impose countless burdens and indignities on gay and lesbian couples and their children. And they serve no legitimate governmental purpose.  We firmly believe that everyone should enjoy the same right to marry the person that they love and urge the Court to make the Constitution’s promise of equality a reality for gay and lesbian couples throughout the nation.”

“Today, under federal law, many LGBT Americans still live in states that do not recognize their right to marry, ” Leader Pelosi said. “Loving same-sex couples and their families deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law.  Now is the time for the Supreme Court to affirm that every American has the right to marry the person they love.”

“I’m proud to stand with loving and committed same-sex couples throughout America demanding recognition, respect and equal protection under the law, ” said Senator Reid. “Gay and lesbian couples have waited for far too long for the simple dignity of enjoying the same constitutional rights as their straight peers. I hope the Supreme Court will right this historical wrong.”

“Although the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled that a key portion of DOMA was unconstitutional, state bans on the marriages of same-sex couples still prevent equality under the law, ” said Senator Feinstein. “With a favorable ruling, the Supreme Court could ensure once-and-for-all that legal marriage is available to loving, committed couples, regardless of sexual orientation. This would be a huge step toward equality in our nation.”

Including Leaders Pelosi and Reid, Congressman Nadler and Senator Feinstein, a total of 167 Members of the House and 44 Members of the Senate signed on to the brief, including Congressmen Conyers, Hoyer, and Clyburn and Senators Leahy, Durbin, Schumer, Murray and the LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chairs Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Mark Takano (D-CA), as well as Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

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