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Reaction to U.S. Supreme Court’s Marriage Decisions

On this celebrated day, we applaud the the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to equally recognize all loving, married Americans.

Equal Justice Under Law — Four words on the pediment of the building where the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its  much-anticipated rulings involving marriage equality.

The first decision on June 26 determined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The Montrose Center applauds the court for recognizing that all loving, married couples are entitled to the same federal rights and privileges. The second ruling allows Marriage Equality to continue in California. In other words, when the District Court ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional in that state, the petitioners did not have a standing to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider it.

These rulings are important steps toward LGBT equality, but the road that has taken five decades to get to where we are today has not come to an end. The fight for full equality will continue regardless of today’s decisions.

The Montrose Center supports full equality for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Full equality includes all the benefits of marriage that have been blocked through the Defense of Marriage Act or Proposition 8. Equality is not limited to marriage but extends to employment, housing, immigration, accessibility, parenting/adoption, survivorship, tax benefits, health care, and education. Fifty years ago this month, then-President John F. Kennedy outlined what later became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Exactly ten years ago on June 26, we were celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision finding sodomy laws unconstitutional, from a case that originated right here in Houston.

Without extending the same protections and civil rights to America’s lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender persons regularly are subjected to discrimination. When communities of people are being told that they are not worthy of the same rights and privileges as the rest of society, it can have a harmful effect on the community members’ mental health and well-being. A recent study comparing anxiety levels for LGBT persons showed that those who live in the 38 states without marriage equality, like Texas, is nearly 250 percent higher. Mood disorders, depression, substance use/abuse and other psychiatric disorders also are greater. Equality, therefore, is a public health concern.

An informal rally is planned for 6:30 p.m. on June 26 outside of Houston City Hall to call attention to LGBT marriage equality. It is one of several events taking place all over the country. Click here for more information.

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