Uphold the Rights of Same-Sex Couples, Says Humanist Group to U.S. Supreme Court

Uphold the Rights of Same-Sex Couples, Says Humanist Group to U.S. Supreme Court

For Immediate Release


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

(Washington, D.C., March 5, 2015)—Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, with the Center for Inquiry, filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the petitioners in Obergefell v. Hodges. The case will be heard by the United States Supreme Court in April to determine if it is unconstitutional for a state to deny marriage licenses to sam e-sex couples or to refuse to recognize a marriage between same-sex couples lawfully issued in another state.

“The equal recognition of LGBTQ marriages across the country is long overdue, and our nation must stop clinging to outdated and discriminatory religious arguments that deny couples their fundamental rights,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

“The Constitution requires the equal treatment of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or whom they love,” said Kevin Jagoe, coordinator of the American Humanist Association’s LGBTQ Humanist Council. “There is no basis for denying marriage to same-sex couples, and the U.S. Supreme Court must finally strike down these discriminatory laws.”

The brief urges the Supreme Court to side in favor of marriage equality, arguing that the denial of the fundamental right to marry violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The brief also asserts that upholding the marriage equality bans would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by giving credence to religious, especially Christian, arguments against same-sex marriage.

“The time has long since come for this Court to reject any law that codifies ancient religious bigotry against gay persons,” the brief states. It continues on to conclude that “just as history cannot justify discriminatory laws under the Equal Protection Clause, it cannot, and should not, justify governmental practices that promote religion.”

The American Humanist Association has a long history of promoting marriage equality throughout the country as well as supporting the rights of LGBTQ individuals. The AHA’s LGBTQ Humanist Council is a resource for the humanist movement, the LGBTQ community and the general public on LGBTQ issues.

A copy of the brief can be viewed 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.