The past few months have been
almost breathtaking, from the historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings at the end of
June to the blizzard of marriage equality lawsuits that have been filed since
After the Supreme Court struck
down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Lambda Legal
and our sister organizations released 14 fact sheets
answering a range of questions concerning the ability of married same-sex couples
to access federal benefits.
In addition, Lambda Legal has
moved forward on fronts in all regions of the country to expand the number of
states allowing same-sex couples to marry. We have moved for summary judgment
in our lawsuit seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in New
Jersey. We have opposed a motion to dismiss and filed a motion for summary
judgment in our freedom to marry case in Illinois. We are currently working on our Ninth Circuit
brief in the appeal of our Nevada marriage
equality case. And, along with the ACLU,
we filed a federal class-action lawsuit in Virginia,
our first foray on behalf of the freedom to marry in the South.
These are in addition to other
lawsuits seeking marriage equality that have been filed or are still underway
in Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah. Some of these have been filed by our
sister organizations, and some by individual lawyers or law firms. All speak to
the powerful momentum toward removing the remaining barriers to marriage for
same-sex couples that has been fueled by the Supreme Court’s rulings in the
DOMA and Proposition 8 cases.
While the progress our community
has made has been remarkable, much work remains to be done. Lambda Legal is
leading the way by litigating in jurisdictions where we believe the chances of
success are the greatest and with cases that have been carefully planned, fully
resourced and well developed for victory. I go into further detail about Lambda
Legal’s strategic approach to marriage litigation here.
Undoubtedly there will be more activity
and more filings in the months ahead, including more from us here at Lambda
Legal. So stay tuned!
Jon W. Davidson