Historic Ruling Strikes Down Federal Marriage Discrimination
July 08, 2010
“DOMA Declared Unconstitutional"
Statement from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, the leading campaign to win marriage equality nationwide, on today’s historic ruling in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management.
“Today’s historic ruling strikes down federal marriage discrimination enacted under the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” in 1996. DOMA created two classes of marriage – those the federal government respects and some it doesn’t – denying married same sex couples and their families equal treatment and depriving them of the crucial safety-net that marriage brings. In Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management, eight married same-sex couples and three widowers, represented by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, demonstrated that federal marriage discrimination harms gay and lesbian couples who are trying to make ends meet and protect their families.
Today’s ruling affirms what we have long known: federal discrimination enacted under DOMA is unconstitutional. The decision will be appealed and litigation will continue. But what we witnessed in the courtroom cannot be erased: federal marriage discrimination harms committed same-sex couples and their families for no good reason. Today’s ruling provides increased momentum to the national movement to end exclusion from marriage and Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to secure the freedom to marry nationwide. The crucial work of changing hearts and minds and winning the freedom to marry in more states is more urgent than ever as we build on today’s momentum and encourage other decision-makers to do the right thing and end exclusion from marriage.”
Freedom to Marry is the leading campaign working to win marriage nationwide. We partner with organizations and supporters across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from the responsibilities, protections, and commitment of marriage.