(San Francisco, CA, February 1, 2017) — Statement by Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty, Ijpe DeKoe and Thomas Kostura, and Johno Espejo and Matthew Mansell:
We are the plaintiffs who brought the legal challenge to Tennessee’s laws that denied recognition to marriages of same-sex couples. Winning basic legal protections for our families required an exhausting years-long battle in the courts. We were proud and humbled when the U.S. Supreme Court heard our case in 2015 and overturned those laws, establishing the freedom to marry for all same-sex couples nationwide.
Because of the Supreme Court’s decision that the Constitution guarantees our marriages equal treatment under the law, we (and for some of us, our children) now have the same security, stability, and legal protection as other families. Words cannot fully express the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the law now treats our families just the same as any other family.
Now, less than two years after we won the freedom to marry, that victory is under attack. We are deeply concerned that the President’s choice to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court would vote to overturn the Court’s marriage equality decision and many other important victories the LGBTQ community has won before the Court.
For that reason, we are asking the Senate not to confirm any candidate who does not voice clear and unequivocal support for the equality of LGBTQ people and same-sex couples, including the Court’s decision in our case that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the same freedom to marry as other couples and the same essential benefits and protections that come with marriage.
To Speak to the Tennessee Marriage Equality Plaintiffs, please contact Shannon Minter at SMinter@NCLRights.org or 415.624.6071