AHA News |  

Humanists Tell Supreme Court: Marriage Equality is the Right Choice

Appignani Humanist Legal Center Files Amicus Briefs in DOMA, Prop 8 Cases

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, bmagee@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105

(Washington, DC, Feb. 27, 2013)—The American Humanist Association today submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to uphold lower court decisions ruling that laws denying legal recognition to the marriages of gays and lesbians are unconstitutionally discriminatory. Those decisions were issued in two cases, one challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the other that of California’s Proposition 8, both of which deny equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

The briefs argued that, under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, discrimination against gays and lesbians must, like that on the basis of race or gender, be presumed to be unconstitutional. The briefs also argued that such discrimination is particularly egregious when it implicates the fundamental right to marriage and family life that is protected by the Constitution. Legislation may not “be used as a sword to deny the basic humanity and fundamental rights of gays and lesbians,” the briefs conclude. “Our Constitution requires that our laws treat each of us with equality and forbids them to create any class of second class citizens.”

“The Supreme Court has the opportunity to reverse decades of discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans, often rooted in religiously justified bigotry,” said Bill Burgess, legal coordinator of the American Humanist Association’s legal arm, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Our government must be a secular one, and cannot adopt any legislation that seeks to give religious condemnation of homosexuality the force of law. The Constitution instead requires that the law treat each of us equally.”

Oral arguments for both cases are scheduled to be heard on consecutive days next month, March 26-27.

Several allied nontheist organizations have signed on to the American Humanist Association’s brief, including American Atheists, American Ethical Union, the Center for Inquiry, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Secular Coalition for American, the Secular Student Alliance, and the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

The full amicus briefs can be found here and here.

# # #

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 160 local chapters and affiliates across America. Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and The Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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

American Humanist Association

Amy Poehler is creating a show about an agnostic woman who inherits a church. An...

9 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Please welcome the newest addition to the American Humanist Association staff, P...

12 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Woo Hoo! 32 states down, plus DC!

14 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Lots of great early feedback for Fighting Back the Right, the forthcoming new bo...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday! Weekends Rock! http://www.jesusandmo.net/2014/10/15/iron2/

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

How do you explain death to a child, or anyone, without religious influence?

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday to Mae Jemison! In 1992, Jemison became the first African America...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday was Bring Your Bible to School Day. Tell us how you feel about this.

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! Can you name this past AHA Humanist of the Year?

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

During our 2014 annual conference, Clay Farris Naff had the pleasure of sitting...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Is the Catholic Church becoming more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex mar...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

When kids opt out of the Pledge, the AHA backs them up!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

In this week's Humanist Hour Podcast, we are joined by Muhammad Syed and Sarah H...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another AHA legal victory, and a win for the separation of church and state! A G...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Does it bother you when someone tells you to have a "blessed" day? Take the poll...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt appeared on Newsmax TV today via Skype to...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

How important is religion in everyday life around the world? Here is an interest...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

As humans we all feel, or have felt, the need to belong. But where do humans rea...

7 days ago