For Immediate Release
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms the Freedom to Marry
NEW YORK - Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed same-sex couples’ freedom to marry in cases out of Idaho and Nevada. The ruling paves also the way for the freedom to marry in Alaska, Montana, and Arizona.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
"Today's decision from the Ninth Circuit brings to 35 the number of freedom to marry states, and 64% of the American people now live in a state where gay people will soon share in the freedom to marry. We now have more states that have ended the exclusion of gay couples from marriage than had ended bans on interracial marriage when the Supreme Court brought the country to national resolution in Loving v. Virginia. We hope that the other federal appellate courts will move swiftly to end the disparity and unfair denial that too many loving and committed couples in the 15 remaining states endure."
In total, 42 federal and state courts in the past year have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples with only one federal and one state ruling going the other way. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied review of five of these marriage wins, paving the way for the freedom to marry in an additional 11 states.
Two of the judges on today’s panel were also part of the majority in SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories back in January of this year, holding that discrimination based on sexual orientation requires heightened scrutiny.
Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.