FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 1, 2005
NCLR and Equality California Issue Joint Statement
(San Francisco, CA, July 1, 2005) — Today Attorney General Bill Lockyer urged the California Supreme Court to decide whether same-sex marriage is permitted under the state Constitution. Lockyer asked the justices to review a trial judge's decision in March that said state laws limiting marriage to heterosexual couples is unconstitutional. That ruling by San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer has been stayed pending appeal.
Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Geoffrey Kors, Director, Equality California, issued the following statement.
Shannon Minter, Legal Director National Center for Lesbian Rights:
"This issue is critically important to tens of thousands of same-sex couples in this state who do not yet know whether they can marry. Every day that goes by, couples that cannot marry are losing important rights and protections, as well as suffering the indignity of being treated as less deserving of legal protection and respect than others. The court does not have to take the case at this stage, but we strongly hope it will do so." NCLR represents Equality California, Our Family Coalition, and twelve-same couples in Woo v. Lockyer.
Geoffrey Kors, the Executive Director of Equality California:
"The current situation has left same-sex couples in legal limbo. The well being of these families is an issue of the utmost public importance, and we hope the Supreme Court will resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Being unable to marry works a tremendous hardship on many people in our community -- particularly for older couples, couples in which one partner is ill or incapacitated, and couples with children. These families need and deserve the security that only marriage can provide."
Founded in 1998, Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Equality California is one of the largest and fastest growing statewide LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our website at http://www.eqca.org/.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.