WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (The Task Force) is hailing today's Supreme Court rulings related to marriage equality as historic and far reaching.
"Today's historic decisions are a significant leap forward for freedom and justice for same-sex couples and their families, the LGBT community and for our nation—and a lot more work needs to be done to deliver marriage equality to the rest of our nation's same-sex couples and their families and full equality in every other respect for all LGBT people," said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
On the Proposition 8 case, the lower federal court had ruled it to be unconstitutional—and the High Court today allowed this ruling to stand. Marriage equality is now reestablished in California.
In all, the federal government will now recognize the marriages of same-sex couples and couples will be able to marry once again in California, our nation's most populous state.
"These rulings mean stronger families and communities across our nation: Millions of same-sex married couples will gain access to all of the benefits associated with marriage. These include: health care, Social Security, housing and income security—all key components of the American Dream," Carey said. "However, those legally married same-sex couples (and widows or widowers) who have moved to—or now live in—a state that discriminates against their marriages, may face barriers to their federal marital protections. We will fight this."
Carey noted that while same-sex couples will now be able to get married in California if they choose:
"Now is not the time to be complacent on other LGBT-related issues. While we welcome marriage equality again in California, we know there are couples in 37 states who still lack the ability to get married in their own state and we still live in a world where a married LGBT person can go to work and get fired for who they are or who they love—and there are other issues that impact the lives of LGBT people that the ability to marry doesn't resolve."
For example, students won't feel any safer in school; seniors won't get more appropriate care; transgender people won't stop experiencing violence and discrimination. And these rulings do not address the fact that people of color—especially LGBT people of color—still experience discrimination at every level of society.
"We must intensify our efforts in other areas. We must pass employment non-discrimination legislation and comprehensive immigration reform," Carey urged.
Now that the Supreme Court has made its decision, implementation will be key.
"Today, history was made not only by the Supreme Court, but by the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have worked for marriage equality in the states and federally. Now we have to work harder than ever to ensure that all same-sex couples have marriage equality across our nation—and all LGBT people have full equality in every other respect," Carey noted.
The Task Force has played a leading role in the United For Marriage coalition.
To join us in this nationwide effort to create lasting, positive change for LGBT people and their families, please go to www.TheTaskForce.org.
SOURCE The Task Force