FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Pride Houston on the Supreme Court Ruling on Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.
HOUSTON (June 26, 2013) ”” Pride Houston applauds the Supreme Court for being on the right side of history today by declaring the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and declining to decide on Proposition 8 (Prop 8). These two simple acts have sent a tremendous wave of support throughout the country and position the nation one step closer to complete equality for us all.
The ruling on DOMA is a major victory for loving couples who were legally married in the states that allow same-sex marriages by now granting them equal legal protection, rights and benefits under federal law. DOMA was the 1996 law which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages leaving LGBT spouses without federal protection, rights or benefits such as Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights, family leave and countless more benefits and rights.
In choosing to not rule on Prop 8, the Supreme Court effectively lifted the stay which barred the state of California from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Prop 8 was a state constitutional amendment passed in 2008 by voters which banned same-sex marriage in California and overturned a previous ruling by the California Supreme Court granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to marry in the state.
President, Barak Obama, issued a statement earlier welcoming the decision by the court and has directed his staff to, “review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.”
We are one community and must continue to work together for a common purpose:
Part of the mission of Pride Houston is to celebrate who we are as a community and with this monumental news we have much to celebrate and be grateful for. The Houston LGBT Pride Celebration is an excellent opportunity to not only celebrate who we are as a community, but to also ensure that we use this valuable time together to properly spread the education and messaging for all matters that affect us as a whole and moving the needle of equality forward.
How do these rulings affect those in our community, our country and in Texas:
“This ruling affects so much more than just my life or even the lives of those in the US. As a superpower in the World it shows that if we can embrace marriage equality then so can others and this is just the first building block of a foundation of equal rights for our brothers and sisters around the world. Oh and one day I will be registered at Neiman Marcus.” – Frankie Quijano, President & CEO, Pride Houston, Inc.
“With the verdicts on DOMA it is a tremendous win for the thirteen states that approved same-sex marriage. This is more than just marriage; this grants couples the 1,000’s of rights that come with marriage. The vote on Prop 8 is an amazing ruling for all of California! Hopefully one day Texas will join and realize all people are equal. This is huge for the LGBT community but there is still a long battle ahead.” Jason Gallegos, Celebration Director, Pride Houston, Inc.
An ongoing commitment to the community:
Today we owe much to all of the individuals and organizations that have fought long and hard for equal treatment under the law. It is because of them that countless couples will now, not only have the right to marry who they love in thirteen states, they will also have the same protection, benefits and rights afforded to opposite-sex marriages. The work, however, is not done! While these two decisions help pave the road further towards equality, we do not all enjoy full equality and Pride Houston is committed to doing its part to ensure we stand alongside our friends and support those who continue to march forward with the mission of ensuring that we are all equal and help change this country for the better.
In an effort to strengthen our partnership with the community Pride Houston hosts The Pride Perspective, open forum meetings held regularly during the off-season (August through March). The intent of these meetings is to generate positive discussions surrounding Pride Houston. We encourage the community to participate in these meetings throughout the year to provide their input so we can collectively drive the future of our community in a positive direction. As the next meetings get scheduled, we will communicate out via our social media outlets as well as our website and encourage all who wish to attend and participate to come join the Pride Houston team.
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Pride Houston, Inc. is a Texas 501(c)3 non-profit, 100% volunteer organization. Started in 1978, Pride Houston is a dedicated to celebrating the Houston LGBT Community through events and the annual Houston LGBT Pride Celebration, including the nation’s only night-time parade and day-time festival. To learn more about the organization or to volunteer please visit us at www.pridehouston.org.