PRESS STATEMENT: US Supreme Court Upholds Equality in Marriage of LGBTs In Proposition 8 and DOMA Cases

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June 27, 2013


US Supreme Court Upholds Equality in Marriage of LGBTs In Proposition 8 and DOMA Cases

By Clara Rita Padilla, Executive Director, EnGendeRights

June 27, 2013, Quezon City-“On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court came out with two very important landmark rulings upholding the rights of LGBTs to equality in marriage in the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases. These two decisions reaffirm the human rights of LGBTs to equality, equal protection of the law, and non-discrimination. The cases reaffirm the right of LGBTs to equality in marriage and clearly show that homophobic heterosexuals cannot use the law to discriminate against LGBTs,” said Atty. Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of EnGendeRights.

Atty. Padilla added, “These two rulings recognizing the rights to equality in marriage of LGBTs uphold the universality of human rights where no one should be second class citizens. By upholding the rights of LGBTs to equality in marriage, a state sends a strong policy statement that LGBTs have the same rights as anybody else and that they should not be discriminated against in law, policy, and practice.”

“In the Philippines, I hope these cases will be celebrated as well to put an end to discrimination against LGBTs. These two new landmark decisions come timely when in the Philippines the anti-discrimination bill seeking to protect LGBTs from discrimination has not yet been passed into law and where women’s reproductive rights are being denied due to fundamentalist religious beliefs.” Atty. Padilla continued.

“Until Philippine law recognizes the right to equality in marriage and divorce of LGBTs, there will always be discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. People will always find an excuse to discriminate against LGBTs. Enacting a law that provides equality in marriage and divorce is one step towards ending discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTs. It is an important step towards a humane and just society where people respect the rights of others,” Atty. Padilla concluded.

In the Proposition 8 case (Hollingsworth et al v. Perry et al), the Supreme Court dismissed the petition seeking to uphold Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California for lack of standing of the petitioners ruling that petitioners did not suffer a concrete and particularized injury as a result of allowing gay marriage. The Proposition 8 referendum was previously overturned as having violated the US Constitution and was later appealed to the US Supreme Court.

In the DOMA case (United States v. Windsor, Executor of the Estate of Spyer, et al.), DOMA was found unconstitutional on equal protection and federalism grounds. With DOMA found unconstitutional, the marriages of LGBT couples are recognized not just in the states where their marriages were celebrated but also federally. Married LGBTs can avail of marital benefits related to immigration, health insurance, tax, among others, and they can no longer be denied the 1100-plus marital benefits and obligations afforded by the US federal government to heterosexuals.***

See Proposition 8 decision:

See DOMA decision:

Contact Person:

Clara Rita “Claire” A. Padilla, JD
Executive Director
EnGendeRights, Inc.
Telefax. No. (632) 376-2578
Mobile landline (+632) 6645696
Mobile: (+63)918-2182682
Email: [email protected];
[email protected]
Like us:
Twitter: @Clara Rita Padilla

Excerpt from the IGLHRC press release dated June 26, 2013:


Hollingsworth et al v. Perry et al: In 2008, California passed the “California Marriage Protection Act,” commonly known as “Prop 8,” which declared, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” When lower federal courts held that Prop 8 violated the U.S. Constitution, proponents of Prop 8, a group of private citizens trying to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, brought the case to the Supreme Court to appeal the lower court decision. Today, the Supreme Court held that those Prop 8 proponents did not have the right to appeal the lower court decision stating, “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.” In practical terms: same-sex couples will have the legal right to marry in the state of California as they had prior to Prop 8.

United States v. Windsor, Executor of the Estate of Spyer, et al.: In 2009, Edith Windsor was denied access to the spousal exemption of the federal estate tax because her spouse was a woman, resulting in her having to pay $363,053. Windsor challenged Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines “marriage” and “spouse” as being between members of “opposite sex.” Today, the Supreme Court held that limiting the definition to between a man and woman, “interfere[s] with the equal dignity of same sex marriages.” In practical terms: couples legally married in states that recognize same-sex marriages can no longer be denied the 1100-plus marital benefits and obligations afforded by the federal government.

Where Same-Sex Marriage is Legal: From

Same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), Portugal (2010), Denmark (2012), France(2013), Brazil (2013), Uruguay (starting Aug. 3) and New Zealand (starting in August). It also is legal on the Caribbean island of Saba, a municipality of the Netherlands (2012).

In Mexico, same-sex marriage is available in the Federal District (Mexico City) and in the states of Oaxaca and Quintana Roo. The marriages are recognized nationwide by Supreme Court order. Mexico has 31 states.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Vermont (2009), Iowa (2009), New Hampshire (2010), Washington, D.C. (2010), New York (2011), Maine (2012), Maryland (2012), Washington (2012), Rhode Island (starting Aug. 1), Delaware (starting July 1) Minnesota (starting Aug. 1) and California (2008, for four months only, then again in 2013, for good this time, likely starting in July or August). The U.S. has 50 states.

It also is legal within the Coquille Indian tribe in Oregon (2009), within the Suquamish Indian tribe in Washington state (2011), and within the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan (2013).

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