San Francisco/New York • 7 October 2014 - Less than 48 hours after the historic Supreme Court decision to allow marriage to move forward in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals followed suit by striking down marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. This decision should also bring marriage to Arizona, Montana and Alaska in the near future.
Today’s opinion is notable both in its focus on the history of marriage as an unequal and changing institution and in its recognition and analysis of gender stereotypes. Perhaps what is most striking about today’s ruling is the clarity with which it views families.
"Classifying some families, and especially their children, as of lesser value should be repugnant to all those in this nation who profess to believe in 'family values,'" stated Judge Reinhardt’s opinion for the decision.
Brian Silva, Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA, noted that Reinhardt went on in his opinion to talk about how the parties involved in this case are ordinary people whose lives are enriched by their loving relationships with their partners and children, “This is all about families – all families. Each new ruling in favor of marriage equality strengthens thousands of American families.”
Silva went on to emphasize that while MEUSA celebrates this decision, it recognizes that the right to marry is still denied to millions of Americans in states across the country. "We will continue to work until every LGBTQ family has the freedom to marry and can live in a communities of mutual understanding and respect. In that vein, our recently launched 'Heart of What Matters' program will engage communities to meet, talk and share their stories; to begin to see all the things we have in common and to focus less on what divides us.”