AHA News |  

Humanists Praise California Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

May 15, 2008

For Immediate Release - Contact Fred Edwords at (202) 238-9088
fedwords@americanhumanist.org - www.americanhumanist.org

(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2008) Humanists across the nation expressed jubilation in the wake of today's California high court decision in favor of same-sex marriage. "Despite resistance, times are clearly changing," declared American Humanist Association (AHA) executive director Roy Speckhardt. "Basic equality cannot be forever denied, and this historic decision points the way to a brighter future for all."

Jason Frye, president of the Humanist Association of San Diego, had this to add. "This is a choice day, not only for the people of California, but all of Americans. The Courts have struck down Jim Crow Marriage."

Speaking from Florida, AHA president Mel Lipman called this decision "another major step forward in the history of American marriage law. Denying marriage to same-sex couples has been inconsistent with individual liberty and freedom all along. The notion of second-class citizenship has no legitimate place in the American ethos. This is why we cannot continue to tolerate the withholding of equal rights on the basis of sexual orientation."

Lipman continued, "Government recognized marriage is secular, not sacramental. Regardless of our many and varied religious beliefs as a nation, marriage conveys legal benefits that cannot be constitutionally bounded by any particular religious bias." The California court validated that view in its opinion that government must recognize same-sex marriage rights but, "no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiate will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

The American Humanist Association has long pushed for equal marriage laws throughout the United States.

Speckhardt concluded "Same-sex families are no less loving, no less stable, no less valuable to society. We'll continue this struggle until all Americans are respected equally throughout this land and the tide of liberty washes away any remaining vestiges of discrimination."


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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.