Historic Ruling Strikes Down Prop 8

8/4/2010

"Affirming Same-Sex Couples' Constitutional Freedom to Marry"

August 4, 2010

Press Contact:

Sean Eldridge

Director of Communications, Freedom to Marry

sean@freedomtomarry.org

New York, NY - Statement from Evan Wolfson on today's District Court historic ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger striking down the discriminatory "Proposition 8":

"Today's federal ruling strikes down a cruel and unfair constitutional amendment that should never have become law and affirms that the freedom to marry belongs to every American.  As the first court to strike down race restrictions on marriage said in 1948, "the essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one's choice."  There is no gay exception in the Constitution to personal choice and the right to marry, and there is no good reason to continue excluding same-sex couples from marriage.   

Judge Walker's decision will be appealed and litigation will continue, but what we witnessed in the clear light of his courtroom cannot be erased.  The witnesses, evidence, and arguments all demonstrated what we've long known:  exclusion from marriage harms committed same-sex couples and their families, while helping no one, and the unjustified and unfair denial of marriage to same-sex couples violates the United States Constitution.  The judge's ruling reflects the growing consensus in courtrooms and legislatures across the country, and around the world, that there is simply no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

As today's trial court ruling is appealed and defended, there is much left to accomplish across the country.  44 states continue to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry, and federal marriage discrimination persists.  Today's win provides increased momentum to the national movement to end exclusion from marriage.  But the courts don't operate in a vacuum, and we must work to maximize our chances of winning down the road.  The crucial work of  changing hearts and minds, securing the freedom to marry in more states, and ending federal marriage discrimination is more urgent than ever, in order to build on today's momentum and encourage other decision-makers to do the right thing and end exclusion from marriage."

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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.