SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center celebrates the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions today that will result in the end to two laws that discriminate against same-sex couples: the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples, and California’s Proposition 8. In the Proposition 8 case, the Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of the measure, a decision that will keep in place an earlier ruling from federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that held Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
“While our community faces many other significant challenges, marriage equality is an issue that affects many transgender people in this country,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender law Center. “It’s good for all of us when the government gets out of the business of using gender to decide who gets access to certain benefits. This is a tremendous victory for the entire LGBT community. We urge the state of California to act quickly to allow same-sex couples to marry again.”
“The Court should be applauded for doing the right thing in holding the so-called Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional,” said Ilona Turner, Transgender Law Center’s Legal Director. “That shamefully discriminatory law has for far too long marked same-sex couples as second-class citizens.”
She added, “Transgender people who are in marriages that may be legally considered ‘same-sex’ can now be confident that their marriages will receive the full respect and recognition they are entitled to from the federal government.” Frequently, whether a transgender person’s marriage is recognized as valid depends on what state they live in, what medical procedures they’ve undergone, and whether or not an employer or insurer challenges their marriage’s validity.
Transgender Law Center joined other civil rights organizations in submitting friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases.