LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of eight gay and lesbian couples in Nevada seeking marriage equality. The case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, asserts that Nevada's decision to withhold the designation of marriage from gay and lesbian couples violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This lawsuit comes two months after the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the historic August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit concluded that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause because it "serves no purpose ... other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California."
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, expressed its strong support for the Nevada lawsuit.
"This case, like our challenge to Proposition 8, is about two things: marriage and equality," said AFER attorney Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. "Our Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to marry and the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect under the law. The Perry case and the new case in Nevada are important steps in securing this fundamental freedom. We look forward to supporting the Plaintiffs in the Sevcik case in every way possible."
"Every American deserves the same dignity and respect, the same freedom to love, to marry and to build a family, no matter which state they live in," said AFER Board President Chad Griffin. "I am proud that the historic victories in the Perry case helped make possible today's lawsuit in Nevada. Working together, we will soon realize this most American of dreams."
AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer announced a contribution of $25,000 to the Plaintiffs' legal fund in support of the Nevada federal lawsuit.
About the American Foundation for Equal Rights
The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry case. After bringing together bipartisan attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Perry case has the distinction of being the first federal freedom to marry lawsuit in American history. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality.
SOURCE American Foundation for Equal Rights