June 26, 2013
The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Kali Lindsey:
Washington, DC -- "Today's Supreme Court decisions regarding California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are a historic victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and another important step in the inevitable road to full equality for same-sex couples," said National Minority AIDS Council Director of Legislative & Public Affairs Kali Lindsey. "They are also a breath of fresh air following the Court's disappointing ruling yesterday on the Voting Rights Act. Gay and lesbian couples have the same capacity for love and commitment as their heterosexual counterparts and seek nothing more than to share in the same rights and privileges that straight couples enjoy, and to which they should be legally entitled.
"Today's decisions allow same-sex marriages to go forward in the nation's most populous state, and ensure that all couples legally married in their states will receive full recognition, protection and benefits from the federal government. While these historic rulings will do much to advance equality for LGBT Americans, the battle is far from over. Constitutional bans on same-sex marriage remain in place in 29 states. Congress has yet to pass the Employment and Student Non-Discrimination Acts. LGBT individuals in the United States, especially those of color, face higher rates of homelessness and poverty than their heterosexual counterparts, while experiencing poorer overall health. In particular, gay and bisexual men continue to bear the heaviest burden of HIV in the nation.
"NMAC celebrates today's rulings, which come on the 10 year anniversary of the historic Lawrence v. Texas decision, and the incredible strides that the LGBT community has made in the struggle for full equality. With more than half of all Americans now supporting marriage equality -- including more than 80 percent of those under 30 -- momentum is on our side. But while we rejoice in this victory, we must be steadfast in our commitment to continue the fight. Marriage is just one of many critical issues facing the LGBT community and our nation. We must build on today's success and work to advance the rights of all individuals, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or country of origin. In particular, we must repair the damage done by yesterday's decision to voting rights for communities of color. NMAC is committed to fighting discrimination and stigma wherever they exist and ensuring that our nation lives up to its founding principles of equality and justice for all."