Statement From A.G. Schneiderman Regarding The Enactment Of Marriage Equality Legislation In Delaware

NEW YORK – Today, the Delaware State Senate voted 12-9 to pass a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in that state, and Governor Jack Markell signed it in to law. The Delaware House passed the bill on April 23. Delaware becomes the eleventh state, plus the District of Columbia, to permit same-sex couples to marry. The following statement may be attributed to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman regarding the passage of marriage equality in Delaware:

“Today, Delaware became the eleventh state to allow gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. This important civil rights victory only strengthens the case for the Supreme Court to overturn the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. As my office has argued in the Supreme Court, DOMA undermines the efforts of states like New York, and now Delaware, to provide equal rights and protection under the law for same-sex couples.”

A.G. Schneiderman led a coalition of 15 states and the District of Columbia in filing a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which refuses to recognize for all federal purposes same-sex marriages valid under state law. A copy of the Attorney General’s amicus brief filed in the case of United States v. Windsor can be read here.

In a separate case affecting the marriage rights of same sex couples, Hollingsworth v. Perry, Attorney General Schneiderman joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Massachusetts, and joined by 12 other States, urging the Supreme Court to hold that California’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. For more information on the two friend-of-the-court briefs in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, click here.

A.G. Schneiderman also successfully defended New York’s marriage equality law from legal challenge in New York State’s highest court. On October 23, 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals sided with A.G. Schneiderman’s office in a rejecting a challenge to the Marriage Equality Act.

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