ACLU Celebrates Marriage Victory: Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Discrimination
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Anchorage, Alaska – The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska celebrates today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which struck down Idaho and Nevada’s bans on equal marriage. This is a wonderful victory for same-sex couples and for all Americans.
“The Ninth Circuit recognized the ‘profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms’ of same-sex couples who are denied the right to marry,” said Joshua A. Decker, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “The Court wrote, ‘Classifying some families, and especially their children, as of lesser value should be repugnant to all those in this nation who profess to believe in ‘family values.'”
The Court looked to our clear “lessons of our constitutional history” that “inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most important institutions. . . . When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.”
This is a historic moment that the ACLU has been working towards for decades, from 1970, when we filed the country’s first freedom-to-marry lawsuit, to 2012, when we helped win marriage at the ballot box in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, to 2013, when we helped Edie Windsor take down the core of the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court.
“With today’s Ninth Circuit victory and yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, we hope that Alaska will stop defending its unconstitutional ban and no longer double-down on discrimination and swim against the tide of history,” said Decker. “Because today’s Ninth Circuit decision binds Alaska, we hope that Alaska will immediately acknowledge same-sex couples’ equal rights.”
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