Main | Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Prop 8 Reactions

Former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom
Today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stands as a victory for the fundamental American principle that all people are equal, and deserve equalrights and treatment under the law. This is the biggest step that theAmerican judicial system has taken to end the grievous discrimination against men and women in same-sex relationships and should be highly praised. "Proposition 8 has done nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that same-sex couples are inferior to heterosexual couples. These men and women are our firefighters, our paramedics, our law enforcement, our service-members, and to treat their relationships differently is unfair, unlawful, and violates the basic principle of who we are as a nation.
Mayors For Freedom
As Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, we know how important marriage is to our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation. When committed couples are able to pledge their love to one another and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage, our communities flourish and our cities are more competitive. Today’s decision by the 9th Circuit reaffirms that the American Dream is possible for everyone and brings us one step closer to ending marriage discrimination once and for all. We look forward to a day when all of our citizens will be able to share fairly and equally in the freedom to marry
Freedom To Marry
This monumental appellate decision restores California to the growing list of states and countries that have ended exclusion from marriage, and will further accelerate the surging nationwide majority for marriage. As this and other important challenges to marriage discrimination move through the courts around the country, Freedom to Marry calls on all Americans to join us in ensuring that together we make as strong a case in the court of public opinion as our legal advocates are making in the courts of law. By growing the majority for marriage, winning more states, and tackling federal discrimination – Freedom to Marry’s ‘Roadmap to Victory’ – we maximize our chances of winning when one case or another finally reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Lambda Legal
This ruling foreshadows the ultimate fate of other states in the Ninth Circuit like Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Hawaii that refuse to recognize the equal dignity of same-sex couples and their families by shunting them off into second-class statuses like domestic partnerships or civil unions. The tide is not turning; it has turned; and we are glad to see the Ninth Circuit join the right side of history. This is an exciting day for all of us, and especially for those of us at Lambda Legal who have been fighting for marriage equality for decades, from our efforts in Hawaii almost 20 years ago to our victories before the California Supreme Court in 2008 and the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009, to our ongoing lawsuit in New Jersey. It is inevitable that marriage equality will be won across the nation through either the legislative or judicial processes.
Empire State Pride Agenda
It is very heartening that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California agrees that all loving committed couples should be able to marry and their families offered the same legal protections as others. “In New York State, more than a decade of work resulted in our marriage win, and we have seen only positive effects from loving same-sex couples being able to marry - from the income generated by their weddings to the legal protections afforded to these families to the outpouring of joy as New Yorkers have seen their friends, family and neighbors publicly declare their love and commitment to each other. “We must be vigilant in defending our victory here in the Empire State. All of the New York State legislators – Democrats and Republicans, Senators and Assemblymembers -- who voted for marriage are up for election this November. As a community, we must flex our political muscle in standing by those who stood by us.
Human Rights Campaign
Today’s decision affirms what we all know to be true – our Constitution protects the basic civil rights of all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Proposition 8 does nothing to strengthen or protect any marriage. Instead, it singles out thousands of loving California families for different treatment, simply because they are gay and lesbian couples. We applaud the Ninth Circuit for recognizing that our Constitution cannot tolerate such egregious discrimination.” “We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their years of work leading to today’s decision. This is not the end of the road, for this case or for the larger struggle for marriage equality. We must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere."
People For The American Way
Today’s ruling is a major victory for equality and for the thousands of California couples who saw their marriage rights disappear four years ago.Proposition 8 hurt Californians. It took away the freedom of committed couples to legally marry, to raise children in security, to visit each other in the hospital and to provide for each other in old age. It hurt gay and lesbian Californians, and it hurt their friends and families. Proposition 8 wasn’t just unconstitutional – it was simply wrong. “I congratulate all the Californians who have regained their freedom to marry, and hope that that freedom will soon be extended to every American.
"Today's historic decision reflects the growing support for marriage equality among a majority of Americans who believe all couples should have the same opportunity to take care of and be responsible for each other," said GLAAD's Acting President Mike Thompson. "Though the road to securing full equality for every American remains long, we are deeply encouraged by today's ruling."
Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
Same-sex married couples still face federal discrimination against their marriages because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). GLAD’s two federal court cases challenging DOMA are also on track to be heard at the Court of Appeals level, and then likely the U.S. Supreme Court. Gill v. Office of Personnel Management is on appeal in the First Circuit following a district court ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional. GLAD is awaiting a district court ruling in the Second Circuit case Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management. In both cases, GLAD is representing same-sex married couples and widowers who were denied federal rights in Social Security, tax filing, family medical leave, employee benefits and pension protections because of DOMA.
National Center For Lesbian Rights
"It is a unique and honored position to be an eyewitness to history. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling finding that Proposition 8 violates the Constitution of this nation marks the first time a federal appellate court has held that a law excluding same-sex couples from the right to marry runs counter to our highest ideals of equality and fairness.  With today's ruling we are a giant step closer to the day when the promise of our Constitution squares with the lived reality of LGBT people." - Kate Kendell.
More reactions will be added here as they come in....

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