WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which finally recognized marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans as a constitutional right. The Leadership Conference submitted an amicus brief in this case in favor of marriage equality:
“This is a transformative day in American history. Today is the day that our nation’s highest court acknowledged the full dignity of LGBT Americans to love and build a family as equals in our society.
While today’s ruling ushers in a new era of acceptance and family security for LGBT Americans, it also highlights the blunt denial of basic rights – in access to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit—that are still being denied in too many states across the nation.
Just as the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia, which held that state laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional, was a forerunner to marriage equality for LGBT people, our nation must also adopt a comprehensive nationwide law to give LGBT Americans the same protections that are already established for people of color, women, religious minorities, and people with disabilities.
Civil rights can only be measured by a single yardstick and our nation can no longer settle for piecemeal solutions to the second-class citizenship of LGBT Americans.”
Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.