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PFLAG, OutServe-SLDN Add To Marriage Equality Briefs Before SCOTUS

Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality (Photo credit: lez get real)

And the avalanche of marriage equality amicus briefs keep coming to the Supreme Court of the United States. Both OutServe-SLDN and PFLAG have added their voices to those calling for the Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage by granting the right to same-sex couples to legally get married.

Starting with OS-SLDN, they have filed a brief regarding the case US v. Windsor arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA harms military families and compromises national security. They urge the Court to strike down the anti-marriage equality law as unconstitutional.

OS-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated with regards to DOMA and the brief that “The Defense of Marriage Act prevents the military from honoring its promise to its families by essentially nullifying otherwise legal marriages between service members and spouses of the same gender. This is more than just an issue of fairness; it’s also an issue of national security. When members of the military put their lives on the line for the security of this nation, they deserve to know their families will be cared for should something happen to them.”

The brief notes that, when DOMA was enacted, Congress did not consider how it would hurt the military. DOMA and the now repealed policy and law Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell were enacted during the Clinton Administration.

Allyson continued saying “From the records of the single day of hearings in Congress when this ill-advised law was being considered, we know that there was zero discussion of the negative impact it would have on our men and women in uniform – and on the families who serve our nation alongside them. Our LGBT military families provide the same service, take the same risks, and make the same sacrifices as all others. They should not be relegated to second-class status by the country they serve.”

OS-SLDN has been fighting DOMA on behalf of various military families for some time.

PFLAG has filed their own amicus brief, but in this case, they are supporting the plaintiffs in Perry v. Hollingsworth, the case that seeks to strike down Prop 8 in Calfironia and reinstate the right to marry to same-sex couples in that state. PFLAG’s brief goes into the real impact on same-sex couples because of the denial of their basic right to get married.

Appearing at a Respect for Marriage Coalition press conference, PFLAG Nation was represented by the Neubecker family where Mike and Janet appeared with their son’s partner David and their granddaughter Braiden. Mike stated that “I want to call [him] my son-in-law. I sometimes call him that now, even though I know there is no law that supports that statement. Most of all, I want the law to stop seeing my son as a second-class citizen or his love as second class.”

Neubecker also spoke about PFLAG families and the differences between marriage and civil unions. He said “I have been married for 41 years, and when I say that word—married—people know what it means.” PFLAG noted that ‘He then read aloud a letter written by his grandaughter, Braiden, the child of David and Mr. Neubecker’s son, Lee. Braiden had written a letter to the Windy City Times, where it was published.’

Mike continued saying:

“Love is important! It doesn’t matter who people love, as long as they are happy… my two dads should be able to be married and have the same rights as any married couple. How would you feel if you couldn’t marry someone just because the government said you weren’t allowed to?

“My family has taught me that even if you don’t agree with someone, you should still be kind and respectful. The government should too. I hope you will do the right thing and let anyone marry who they want to.”

PFLAG Nation Executive Director Jody Huckaby stated “Each of the families in the brief has a story that is compelling and, most important, exremely personal. This is not on abstract law and civics lesson. This is about our families and the people we love. It is always personal.”

SCOTUS will take up both cases the end of the month.



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