FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2013
NEW YORK CITY—In a landmark victory for civil rights, the US Supreme Court today struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prevented same-sex couples in legal marriages from enjoying equal protection under federal law and equal access to federal benefits for married couples. The court also dismissed an appeal regarding California’s Proposition 8, making it possible for same-sex marriage to resume in that state.
“American Jews nationwide applaud today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, which continues the proud American tradition of ever-expanding personal rights, and honors the Jewish values of shared humanity and equality that we hold dear,” said Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc, a leading national Jewish social justice organization. “Having faced prejudice and bigotry throughout our history, the Jewish community does not tolerate unjust discrimination against others. Personally, as a gay Jewish man who has long been fighting for LGBT rights, it means so much to see our highest court rule that my family has as much right to happiness and protection under the law as any other. We have come far. But there is more to do. The Court has opened the door to greater equality for all people, and now is the time for our state and national officials to lead the march through it. Our elected leaders must turn this decision into action and make full equality a reality for all Americans and their families.”
As a proud ally in the national movement for LGBT rights, Bend the Arc helped lead the Jewish community in supporting marriage equality at the state and federal levels. Bend the Arc has organized marches and candlelight vigils to support gay marriage and worked on the successful marriage equality campaigns in Minnesota and Maryland. Bend the Arc filed amicus briefs on Proposition 8, and joined several other Jewish organizations to submit an amicus brief supporting the plaintiff in Windsor v. United States of America.