WASHINGTON — Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), one of the seven openly gay members of Congress, released the following statement on April 28 after attending oral arguments for the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which questions whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages:
“During oral arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges, the legal team for the plaintiffs made it clear, as it has always been, that the Constitution is intended to grant rights – not strip them away from one particular group. States that are refusing to grant same-sex couples the right to marry and the spousal benefits that come with marriage are in clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says that no state shall deny any person equal protection under the law. Plain and simple.
“Far too many same-sex couples have lost out on the benefits granted through legal marriage. But if we continue to discriminate and refuse the right to marry to all same-sex couples, no matter what state they reside in, we are doing something much worse. We are telling millions that their love is invalid. That is not what our nation is about.
“By ruling in favor of marriage equality, the justices would confirm what millions already know — that a person’s gender or sexual orientation does not matter when it comes to marriage. All that matters is what is in one’s heart.
“However, I encourage them to go one step further and do as Supreme Court justices of years past have done in landmark cases, and return with a unanimous decision. Doing so would not only keep the court on the right side of history, but it would help it maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of the American people.”
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who was wounded while serving in the Iraq War, issued the following statement:
“I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of love and commitment, and bring marriage equality to the nation. That’s why I joined 166 of my colleagues in the House, along with 44 senators, to write an amicus brief showing that Americans deserve the freedom to marry.
“While I was recovering at Walter Reed after being shot down in Iraq, my husband Bryan was at my bedside every day. Not only was he offering love and support during such a difficult time, but he was also making critical decisions for me that improved my quality of life. Often, those decisions were contrary to what other family members would have decided, but as my life partner, my husband knew me better and made the correct choices for me when I could not.
“I support the freedom to marry because everyone deserves the same level of access, support and love.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles), who was among the House members who joined the amicus brief, said, “It’s long past time that all Americans to have the freedom to marry. I am confident that when the court rules in June, they will choose love and equality.”