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Jun 26, 2013

Equality NC Responds to Supreme Court's Prop 8 Dismissal

State’s premier LGBT organization calls decision “momentous victory for marriage equality”

Raleigh, N.C. — Equality NC, North Carolina’s statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, today responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Hollingsworth v. Perry brought by proponents of Proposition 8 —California’s ban on the freedom to marry.

CLICK HERE to read the Court's full opinion.

In its dismissal, the Court found that proponents of Prop 8 did not possess legal standing to appeal the lower court rulings that invalidated Prop. 8.

Today’s decision makes permanent the landmark Federal District Court ruling that found Prop 8 unconstitutional. In August 2010, the District Court held: “Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

This ruling signifies the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California. Same-sex couples can now legally marry in 13 states and Washington, DC, and more than 93 million Americans – nearly a third of the country – live in a jurisdiction with the freedom to marry.

“Today marks a momentous victory for marriage equality,” said Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality NC. “The Supreme Court itself has stated 14 times that marriage is a fundamental right; by winning the freedom to marry more states and more hearts and minds, we can not only set the stage for making that case again before the Court – be it before these or other justices – but also to make the case to an ever-growing number of LGBT allies who support marriage and other forms of equality here in North Carolina.”

While the Court’s dismissal of Hollingsworth v. Perry represents a victory for the national movement to win marriage equality, legal experts say the decision will not legally impact states like North Carolina with constitutional bans on the freedom to marry.

Nevertheless, in his April 2013 article, “Same Sex Marriage and States Like Mine,” UNC law professor Honing Lau hinted that today’s Prop 8 decision could catalyze a shift in states like North Carolina that do not currently have marriage equality. “Because California is such a populous state that wields cultural influence over the rest of the country, a victory in California will eventually have spillover effects that reach North Carolina. As more and more Americans interact with same-sex couples who get married in California and other places where it is legal, the country as a whole will see more clearly that banning same-sex marriage is unfair and is bad public policy.”

Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.

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