February 7, 2012
Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry, violates the U.S. constitution. In a 2-1 ruling, the court said the proposition "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." The National Organization for Women applauds this decision and reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that marriages of loving, committed same-sex couples are legally recognized.
For decades, NOW has been a leader in the fight for full equality for lesbians, including the right to marry. This decision is an important step forward in the long march toward justice. Activists have worked tirelessly through demonstrations, conversations and the political process to make this moment not just possible, but inevitable.
And yet, we still have a long way to go until marriage equality is realized. NOW and its allies are working for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, depriving lesbian and gay couples of protections that heterosexual couples take for granted. Although our climb remains uphill, the Ninth Circuit's decision today provides momentum to move this struggle for justice forward.