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The American Bar Association Passes Resolution Backing Marriage Equality

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The American Bar Association, the nation’s leading legal organization, today passed the following resolution:

“RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.”

“With this action, the American Bar Association has affirmed the principles upon which this nation was founded—that every American is vested with certain inalienable rights and that all Americans are created equal,” said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “The ABA’s action is significant in that it represents a broad consensus among scholars and practitioners of the law. The ABA is the nation’s leading legal organization and is the one charged with recommending judges and setting national standards for attorneys. This case is not about ideology or politics, and the ABA’s resolution underscores that. Rather, Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a case grounded in fundamental constitutional law and precedent, including equal protection under the law and due process.”

“By approving a resolution in support of marriage equality, the ABA has confirmed what the federal courts, the state’s chief executive and the state’s chief law enforcement officer have determined in Perry v. Schwarzenegger—that excluding gay men and lesbians from marriage violates their constitutional right to due process and equal protection and causes significant harm to them and their families,” Griffin added, referring to the Governor and Attorney General.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the organization that launched the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and brought together attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies (who opposed each other in arguing Bush v. Gore) to lead its litigation. Last week, the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court, Northern District of California issued a 136-page ruling that found that California’s Proposition 8, which stripped gays and lesbians of their right to marry, was unconstitutional, citing its denial of the constitutional protections of equal protection under the law and due process, among other findings.

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