U.S. Supreme Court Must Recognize Marriage Rights of Same-Sex Couples, Says Humanist Group

U.S. Supreme Court Must Recognize Marriage Rights of Same-Sex Couples, Says Humanist Group

For Immediate Release


Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, merrillmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, D.C., April 27, 2015)— Today, in advance of oral arguments pertaining to the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case, leadership at the American Humanist Association urges the United States Supreme Court to uphold marriage equality by ruling that states cannot deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples or refuse to recognize same-sex marriage licenses lawfully issued in another state.

“It’s time to stop clinging to outdated religious notions about marriage,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The Supreme Court must acknowledge that LGBTQ couples deserve the same rights and recognition as all others Americans.”

In March, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center submitted an amicus curiae brief with the Center for Inquiry on behalf of the petitioners in Obergefell v. Hodges. The brief argues that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment gives same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry. It also describes the rationales upholding marriage equality bans as based purely upon religious, particularly Christian, definitions of marriage, meaning that bans on marriage equality contravene the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. A copy of the brief can be viewed here.

“The humanist community has long understood that same-sex couples should be treated equally, and we will continue to stand with the LGBTQ community against bigotry until full equality is achieved,” said Kevin Jagoe, coordinator of the American Humanist Association’s LGBTQ Humanist Council.

Since the 1970s, the American Humanist Association has consistently advocated for the equal treatment of LGBTQ individuals under the law. In 2009, it created the LGBTQ Humanist Council, a forum for LGBTQ nontheists and their allies to support marriage equality and other measures preventing discrimination of LGBTQ individuals. In 2013, the American Humanist Association and its LGBTQ Humanist Council encouraged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.

More information about the American Humanist Association’s advocacy on behalf of same-sex couples can be found here.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.