Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges is a victory for liberty and equality. As RBGG’s Sandy Rosen said in an op-ed at the time of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decisions on gay marriage (quoting Victor Hugo) “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Sandy was also quoted in a Law 360 roundup of commentary on Obergefell, “The Supreme Court has once again made June 26 a joyous day for all who believe in ‘equal dignity in the eyes of the law.’ Two years to the day after the Court declared unconstitutional the core provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, and thirteen years to the day after it held that the liberty to engage in intimate conduct between two consenting adults is protected by the Constitution, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court has held that the fundamental right to marry the person who you love applies equally to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. This is a great victory for liberty and equality for all of us.”
RBGG lawyers, including Sandy, Gay Grunfeld and Ben Bien-Kahn, filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in Obergefell on behalf of survivors of the anti-gay therapies known as “sexual orientation change efforts” (or SOCE), as well as the sister of a man who committed suicide after being subjected to SOCE as a child. The brief is available in full here: Amicus Brief – Survivors of Sexual Orientation Change Therapies
RBGG also represented these Amici in the two marriage equality cases previously before the Supreme Court: Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which denied gay men and lesbian women the right to marry, and United States v. Windsor, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
In each of these Amicus Briefs, filed in the Supreme Court, the SOCE survivors urged the Supreme Court to review the discriminatory laws at issue under a heightened level of scrutiny because they single out LGBT people based on an immutable trait central to their identity. Through these briefs, RBGG recounted the Amici’s stories, emphasizing the immutability of sexual orientation and the stigmatizing effect of the discrimination and prejudice that has been and continues to be directed at LGBT people.