BOSTON, Mass.—By Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on six cases from four states—including two brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, from Ohio and Kentucky—that could establish the freedom to marry for lesbian and gay couples nationwide. ACLU of Massachusetts experts will be available to provide legal analysis and historical context, going back to the first American lawsuit for the freedom to marry, brought by the ACLU in 1970.
The ACLU case from Kentucky, Bourke v. Beshear, is a federal court challenge to Kentucky’s constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. For details, go to:
The ACLU case from Ohio, Obergefell v. Hodges, presents the question of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize a same-sex marriage validly licensed by another state. For details, go to:
On the day the Supreme Court announces its marriage decisions, the ACLU and allies plan to gather at 6 p.m. in a location to be determined. For details, check this page:
Historic highlights of ACLU work for equal rights include the following:
• In 2013, ACLU client Edie Windsor defeated DOMA nationwide at the U.S. Supreme Court.
• From 2001-2007, the ACLU and allies repeatedly beat back DOMA in the Massachusetts legislature.
• In 1986, ACLU of Massachusetts cooperating attorney Tony Doniger led a successful challenge to state regulations preventing lesbian and gay people from becoming foster parents.
• In 1970, the ACLU filed the first freedom-to-marry lawsuit in the United States on behalf of gay and lesbian couples.
• In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in the ACLU case Loving v. Virginia.
• In 1936, ACLU work for LGBT equality began in Boston with a challenge to censorship of Lillian Hellman’s play “The Children’s Hour,” over the play’s “lesbian content.”
For information about other marriage cases before the Supreme Court, go to:
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to: https://aclum.org.
[From a News Release]