NCLR: Supreme Court Decisions Are a Victory for Fairness, Justice and Equality

June 26 2013



Joseph Rendeiro
(202) 776-1566

In a 5–4 vote today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents married same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage benefits.

“Today’s decision to recognize the marriages of LGBT couples as equal is a monumental step forward for this country,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “By striking down a central part of DOMA, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this country’s commitment to equality, sending a clear message that no person should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. While there is undoubtedly still more work to be done to ensure that marriage equality is the law of the land, today is a reminder that the arc of history bends toward justice and that we must keep fighting for equal rights for all.”

This decision will affect the more than 73,000 same-sex couples living in the U.S. in which at least one member is Hispanic, as well as thousands more who are denied the same rights and benefits as other married couples. Recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans believe the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages, and according to a 2012 study released by NCLR, more than half of Latinos in this country support marriage equality.

A second decision handed down today on Proposition 8—the ban that specifically denied same-sex couples in California the right to marry—will also open the door for the most populous state in the country to once again begin recognizing and performing same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts, which had previously ruled against the ban.

“By dismissing this case, the Supreme Court has undoubtedly cleared the path for marriage equality to be reinstated in California,” added Murguía. “The lower courts got it right the first time—the right to marry should be equally protected under the Constitution for all Americans, including our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

Learn more about NCLR’s work on LGBT issues by visiting our civil rights and justice web page.


Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas