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Congressman Engel Joins Colleagues in Calling for Supreme Court to Defend Marriage Equality

Congressman Engel Joins Colleagues in Calling for Supreme Court to Defend Marriage Equality

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, (NY-16), the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined many of his Democratic colleagues in signing on to an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting full, nationwide marriage equality for same sex couples. The Supreme Court will likely decide this summer whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and the right to have their marriages recognized nationwide.

“As the Supreme Court recognized two years ago in United States v. Windsor, ‘state laws defining and regulating marriage must respect the Constitutional rights of persons.’ There is no way to ban same-sex marriage without disrespecting the rights of committed, same sex couples,” Congressman Engel said. “State refusals to issue marriage licenses or recognize the marriages of same-sex couples deprive American families of the due process rights and the equal protection they are entitled to under the Constitution. And the federal courts have overwhelmingly agreed.

“Nearly every Democratic member of Congress has signed onto this brief, because it is the right thing to do. Bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, and they are indefensible. Every citizen deserves equal protection under the law. It is my hope that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that state marriage bans are unconstitutional and that the court strikes them down.”

Congressman Engel was one of only 67 House members to oppose the ill-conceived Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.