One of America's fundamental guarantees of freedom, and one part of our system of "checks and balances," is an independent judiciary: judges who do their job of assuring constitutional and legal equality and justice for all, rather than just rubberstamping whatever politicians or the passions of the moment might dictate.
The growing consensus in courtrooms across the country is that there is simply no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage. For several years, landmark court cases have challenged marriage discrimination at the state and federal level - and in 2013, the freedom to marry finally had its first day at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court decided in Windsor v. United States that the federal government must equally honor and respect legal marriages between same-sex couples, extending to them the same protections and responsibilities that marriage triggers at the federal level for married different-sex couples. A number of other cases - including Hollingsworth v. Perry, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, and Varnum v. Brien - have led to the freedom to marry for couples in California, Massachusetts, and Iowa, respectively.
Attacks on judges and the courts for doing their job are nothing new — going back to the denunciations of "activists judges" and billboards demanding the impeachment of the Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of equality in cases such as Brown v. Board of Education. This disregard of the American judiciary was on full display during the 2010 Election, when anti-gay organizations and leaders flooded Iowa with money to unseat three Iowa Supreme Court justices for upholding the state’s constitutional principles.
Every American, gay or non-gay, is entitled to their day in court. Numerous organizations across the country are representing same-sex couples and their families in order to secure marriage to protect all families.
Blog Posts Related to Judicial
On this historic day, we take a look at the far-reaching influence of that very first win in HI 20 years ago, tracking how it has shaped the marriage movement – and how it worked as a catalyst for the strategic vision of Freedom to Marry.
Yesterday, on October 31, 3013, after several years in court, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its ruling in Kelly's case. In a 5-2 decision, they declared that Kelly should not receive any of the survivor benefits.
Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied Gov. Christie's request to delay the start of marriages for same-sex couples in New Jersey. The NJ Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the marriage case in January 2014, but until a verdict is announced, same-sex couples will be permitted to marry in New Jersey, beginning on Monday, October 21, 2013.
Resources Related to Judicial
Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, makes the case for marriage on the Hoover Institution's "Uncommon Knowledge" program.
An article adapted from Harvard Professor Nancy F. Cott’s expert report submitted in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The Florida Third District Court of Appeal decision affirming a circuit court ruling that found a law banning gay and lesbian people from adopting children unconstitutional.