Statement by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
Praising Supreme Court's Decisions in Landmark Marriage Equality Cases
Today's rulings in Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 cases are a "historic moment" in battle for civil rights
Baltimore, MD ( June 26, 2013) - "Today, by declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has moved our nation one step closer to fulfilling the Constitution's promise of equal protection of the law. The battle for full marriage equality in this country is not yet over, as today's Proposition 8 decision does not settle the question of whether states can discriminate against same-sex marriages. But with today's DOMA decision, a central source of same-sex marriage discrimination has been removed.
For too long, same-sex married couples have been given second-class status by state laws and federal laws like DOMA, denying them the full equal protection of the laws that our Constitution promises. Many of us have been fighting against these unjust laws for years. When same-sex marriage was still illegal in Maryland, I worked to give same-sex married couples legally wed in other states the full measure of equality our legally married couples enjoyed. That push for equality led to calls for my impeachment, but I knew it was the right -- and constitutional -- thing to do. That's why I also strongly supported our state's later successful efforts to enact marriage equality, testifying in support of it before any other statewide elected official. And when DOMA and Proposition 8 were challenged at the Supreme Court, I did not hesitate to join fellow state Attorneys General in filing a brief calling for them to be struck down. Today is a historic moment in civil rights history, with Supreme Court decisions striking down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional and dismissing the Proposition 8 appeal, letting stand a district court opinion declaring that law unconstitutional and paving the way for marriage equality in California. Now we must work together to write the next chapter - achieving marriage equality in all 50 states."
For the amicus curiae brief filed by Attorney General Gansler and 16 other attorneys general, visit: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Amicus-Brief-of-States-on-Merits-for-Windsor.pdf
For Attorney General Gansler's 2010 Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage, visit: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opinions/2010/95oag3.pdf