For Immediate Release - October 06, 2014

AG Coakley Statement on Supreme Court Declining to Hear Appeals in Marriage Equality Cases

BOSTON – After the Supreme Court rejected the appeals of five states trying to ban same-sex couples from marriage today, Attorney General Martha Coakley released this statement:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is an enormous victory for equality in this nation. I am proud of Massachusetts' leadership on this issue, and that the courts have repeatedly agreed with the arguments we’ve made in these cases. Massachusetts has shown that the institution of marriage is only strengthened when we embrace equality, and everyone should be able to marry the person they love. We will celebrate today's victory, and tomorrow we get right back to work in the fight to ensure equality for all.”

Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin all sought review by the Supreme Court in cases challenging their laws banning same-sex couples from marriage.  In all of those cases, lower courts had struck down the bans.

BACKGROUND

Since the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in United States v. Windsor in June 2013, AG Coakley has led a multi-state effort in support of gay and lesbian couples. To date, AG Coakley has filed amicus briefs in five U.S. Courts of Appeals in cases challenging bans on same-sex marriage:

  • On Oct. 25, 2013, AG Coakley filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in cases challenging Hawaii’s and Nevada’s bans on same-sex marriage;
  • On Mar. 4, AG Coakley filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in cases challenging Oklahoma’s and Utah’s bans on same-sex marriage;
  • On Apr. 18, AG Coakley filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage;
  • On June 16, AG Coakley filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a case challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage; and 
  • On Sept. 16, AG Coakley filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a case challenging Texas’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The Courts of Appeal for the Tenth and Fourth Circuits struck down the bans on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia.

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