The country took a giant leap forward in the march for equality and justice for all on June 26 with the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.
The Supreme Court ruled definitively that DOMA violated the Equal Protection Clause in our Constitution and that loving married same-sex couples deserve the same rights and benefits as all other married couples. The court's decision on Prop 8, which leaves intact a district judge's ruling invalidating that measure, ensures that, at least for now, gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to marry in California.
"While we wish the court had acted to extend marriage equality for all Americans," Weingarten says, "make no mistake that the momentum for equality is building and there is no going back.
"We are a nation built on the belief of equality for all—that all Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The court affirmed these basic values and recognized that laws such as DOMA deny gay and lesbian Americans these fundamental rights and betray our values as a nation.
"The AFT and the rest of the labor movement have a proud history of standing up for equality and justice and fighting discrimination in every part of our society—from the workplace to the ballot box to the individual rights and freedoms we cherish as a nation. We were proud to be a part of the amicus briefs filed challenging the constitutionality of both DOMA and Prop 8." [AFT press release]
June 26, 2013