MEUSA Files Real People Amicus Brief with SCOTUS

MEUSA Amicus Brief: Real Voices, Real People, Real Impact 

Posted by Melanie Nathan, March 09, 2015.

Married San Francisco City Hall 2013.
Married San Francisco City Hall 2013.

San Francisco/Washington DC – Today, Marriage Equality USA announces that it has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the freedom to marry nationwide and full equality under the Constitution for LGBTQ people. The brief, together with all the other briefs supporters of equality have filed, present an irrefutable case for equality to the Supreme Court in the landmark lawsuits the Court will decide this year.

The brief’s lead author, John Lewis, MEUSA’s Legal and Policy Director stated:

“Empowering LGBTQ people to tell their own stories and to advocate in their own voices has always been a central mission of Marriage Equality USA. In our Supreme Court brief, LGBTQ couples across the country, from Florida to Iowa to Oregon, reveal how discrimination has harmed them and how equality has brought them personal dignity and legal protections that they had never had before. Their voices attest to the transformative power of legal equality in people’s lives.”

Voices in the brief include:

* An LGBTQ couple in their 90s, who for 70 years told no one of their relationship until they decided to marry.20130628_175714

* A young LGBTQ couple, raising four children, who had been unable to live together as a family because of their home state’s law that excludes same-sex couples from marrying. Marriage equality coming to their state meant that they could finally live together as a family.

* An LGBTQ couple who married in California where they made their home for years, but when the Great Recession hit needed to move to live with family in a state without equality. In the process, they lost not just their jobs and their home – they lost full recognition and respect for their marriage. They look to the Supreme Court for a nationwide decision that restores their equality.

Married San Francisco City Hall 2013 2A central theme of the brief is that Americans’ right to marry and to have their government accord them the highest respect and recognition for their relationship should derive inherently from their humanity and not the particularities of their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The brief also stresses the importance of marriage equality being a federal constitutional right, enforceable in all 50 states and all U.S. territories. As the brief states: “We are not just citizens of the state in which we live; we are Americans.”Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 4.49.18 PM

The brief also describes how LGBTQ Americans experience a new found sense of dignity as LGBTQ Americans when they gain the freedom to marry. But that sense of dignity is incomplete unless LGBTQ people receive the same measure of respect in every way in which they interact with the government.

Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 4.49.50 PMBrian Silva, MEUSA’s Executive Director, stated:

“Marriage Equality USA is the nation’s oldest existing organization dedicated solely to attaining marriage equality. Nearly two decades of work alongside many other LGBTQ organizations, individuals, and allies has led to this moment. Thirty-seven states now have marriage equality. We stand poised for the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that marriage equality is the law nationwide. As we look to the Court to do so, we also look to the Justices to establish once and for all that the Constitution protects LGBTQ people from governmental discrimination in all aspects of their lives.”

20130628_175656The Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the marriage equality cases on April 28, with a decision expected by the end of June. The decision will likely come the same week that major cities across the country will hold annual LGBTQ Pride Celebrations, marking the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that are credited with being the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ rights movement.



ALL AMICUS BRIEFS FOR Marriage equality SCOTUS Cases

10 thoughts on “MEUSA Files Real People Amicus Brief with SCOTUS

  1. Reblogged this on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    Grassroots Marriage Equality Amicus Brief filed with the Supreme Court…

    1. Is there a link to the Brief in pdf form? I do not see it. PS Also awaiting permission to reblog on DKOS… I have it all set to go. Let me know.

  2. At a time the high voices will be heard all over the world. Its beautiful thing that the best outcome is anticipated. “Why do caged birds sing”

  3. Not enough has been done with the “Full Faith and Credit” clause. Once a same-sex marriage has been recognized in one state, the other states should give recognition to it.

    I’ll have to look up the cases, but I think this applies to heterosexual marriages, already: in Iowa, it used to be that First Cousins can marry over the age of 50 (no supposed possibility of having children). I’d be surprised if their marriages were not recognized in other states in which First Cousins could NEVER marry.

  4. Pingback: Marriage Equality Round-Up - March 10th
  5. I can just hear the conservatives kicking and screaming as they are being dragged to marriage equality!

    1. Eric, “social conservatives,” yes. Those of us who are fiscal, military and national defense conservatives – and also quite gay – are to the point of being puzzled that there’s any opposition to common sense left.

      You might ask anyone opposed to same-sex marriage, “So, since my same-sex marriage has ‘assaulted’ and ‘destroyed’ marriage, how has your heterosexual marriage gotten worse, over the past few years? Are you ‘less married’ than you were, 5 years ago?

      “Are you thinking about divorce?

      “Has your child called up and announced that he or she will not be marrying their boyfriend or girlfriend because marriage ‘No longer makes us feel special, now that everyone can do it!'”

      As I’ve repeatedly said, same-sex marriage is not an endorsement of gay people or gay sex: it’s an endorsement of MARRIAGE, that ‘institution for those who ought to have been institutionalized, to begin with!’ Heterosexuals are not joining our institution: we are joining their institution.

      The entire position of the anti-GLBTQI crowd is entirely and utterly stupid, which is why it cannot even pass the Rational Basis Test, the lowest form of constitutional review. It’s based on the notion that homosexual sex is “icky” and that, “If we prevent THEM from getting married, maybe they will feel bad about who they are and stop being gay.”

      I had a wonderful time with my fiancé’s family in the Philippines in December and again, for the past 2 weeks. If Uganda and Egypt are the WORST possible tourist destinations for us, the Philippines is the BEST tourist destination for gays and lesbians. Everyone was very receptive and open to us, even in this conservative Catholic country.

        1. The only annoying thing about being conservative and gay is the obligation to speak up, when speakers start spouting off at meetings.

          At the age of 50, I have a fun testimony: “Hey, buddy, I’ve served in the U.S. Army for 16+ years and 3 deployments in order to protect your freedom to be a bigot. I ain’t got nuthin’ left to explain or justify to you. I’m getting married, this year, and my fiance is smokin’ hot!”

          Usually shuts ’em up.

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