Metro Weekly

ABA Supports Ending All “Legal Barriers” to Marriage Equality

From the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the American Bar Association has passed the following resolution at its annual meeting:

“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.”

This is a further step for the ABA than it has taken at its previous meetings. At its meeting in 2009, the ABA passed a resolution urging the repeal of Section 3 of DOMA, which defines “marriage” and “spouse” under federal law as referring only to opposite-sex marriages and couples.

More from AFER, which is pushing the Proposition 8 federal lawsuit:

“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.

[UPDATE: More on the resolution, from the ABA Journal:

Gays and lesbians should have the right to marry in civil ceremonies, the ABA’s policy-making House of Delegates declared on Tuesday. The measure passed on a voice vote.

A lineup of ABA leaders, both past and present, spoke in favor of the resolution. Incoming ABA President Stephen Zack asked “Why would anyone in this country not want two people who love each other to enjoy the blessings of marriage and the protections of law?”

Check it out.]