|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MARCH 15, 2005
|CONTACT: National Organization for Women
Jenny Thalheimer, 202-628-8669 x 116
NOW Celebrates California's Equal Marriage Victory
WASHINGTON -- March 15 -- Yesterday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer ruled that California's ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples was unconstitutional. In his ruling, Judge Kramer wrote that, despite attempts to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, "the state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional."
"We are delighted to hear this news from California," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "As the fight for equal marriage continues, decisions like this will be the stepping stones to victory."
Just last month, same-sex couples celebrated when a state trial court ruled in a strongly-worded opinion that they have the right to marry in New York City. Judge Doris Ling-Cohan ruled that the New York State Constitution guarantees basic freedoms to lesbian and gay people, and emphasized marriage as a fundamental right of each person in the United States. Ling-Cohan will be a featured speaker at NOW Foundation's upcoming Women of Color and Allies Summit.
"Finally, people are beginning to understand that marriage rights are everyone's rightsnot just those of heterosexual couples," said NOW Action Vice President Olga Vives. "NOW will be there every step of the way to support and advocate for same-sex couples and their families."
NOW supports marriage rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and strongly opposes any effort to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. Allowing same-sex couples to marry expands and ensures the civil liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, while demonstrating a commitment to fairness and justice for all people. As an organization committed to civil rights, NOW works to help create a more equitable and just society so that all individuals are treated with dignity and equality under the law.