“We are poised to make our case to the Supreme Court and are ready for this next chapter in the history of the freedom to marry in this country. In less than two months we will be before the Court to argue that same-sex couples and their families can’t wait any longer for justice.”
The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday announced it has scheduled argument for the marriage cases on Tuesday, April 28, at 10:00 a.m. The cases the Court will hear include two Ohio cases litigated by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Gerhardstein & Branch.
“We are poised to make our case to the Supreme Court and are ready for this next chapter in the history of the freedom to marry in this country. In less than two months we will be before the Court to argue that same-sex couples and their families can’t wait any longer for justice,” said Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal.
“While the next two months will be a time of tremendous excitement and anticipation, they also are an opportunity to reflect on the amazing strides we have made in advancing the cause of equality for LGBT individuals and couples and people living with HIV over the past decades,” Sommer added. “The cases the Supreme Court will hear April 28 carry the flag for marriage equality, but let us not forget the literally dozens of cases in state and federal courts nationwide and the collective effort of Lambda Legal, NCLR, the ACLU, GLAD and other sister LGBT groups and private often pro-bono counsel that have paved the way and laid the groundwork for this moment.”
Sommer said the nationwide movement for marriage equality has been a long time coming. “From the early stirrings in Hawai`i in 1993 to the critical victories in Massachusetts, California, Iowa, and New Jersey to the breathtaking triumphs of recent months, we all can take pride in what together we have accomplished and in the case we will put forth next month.”
The two Ohio cases the Court will hear are Henry v. Hodges, where Lambda Legal joined Gerhardstein & Branch, and Obergefell v. Hodges, where the ACLU joined Gerhardstein & Branch. The other Sixth Circuit cases before the Court are: DeBoer v. Snyder, a Michigan case litigated by private counsel and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear, Kentucky cases litigated by private counsel and the ACLU; and Tanco v. Haslam, a Tennessee case litigated by private counsel and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
“We’re hopeful the Court will recognize that our family is like other families in Tennessee,” said Tanco, who has an 11-month-old daughter with Jesty. “Even though we were married when we moved to Tennessee, Tennessee doesn’t see us as a family or give us any of the legal protections that other married couples have. We are grateful to have this chance to explain to the Court why this discrimination hurts us and our daughter.”
The April 28 argument will be the next chapter in the history of the journey for same-sex couples and their families in the United States. It follows the avalanche of state court, U.S. district court and U.S. appellate court rulings striking down discriminatory state marriage bans since last summer’s historic Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor declaring the core provision of the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.