FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2013
Contact: Emily Chatterjee
WASHINGTON – In two watershed marriage equality decisions announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and found that proponents of Proposition 8 in Perry v. Hollingsworth lack standing to appeal the federal district court decision, which struck down the amendment. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has long supported marriage equality, and joined amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court as well as in lower court proceedings in both cases.
“Today is a historic day for our nation as we move one step closer to equality for all Americans,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. “As a Californian, I am especially proud that NAPABA has supported marriage equality in Windsor and Perry, and in many other cases, and we look forward to the implementation of both decisions.”
Windsor challenged DOMA, a federal law that denies legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits provided to heterosexual spouses. Justice Kennedy delivered the 5-4 decision and held that “though Congress has great authority to design laws to fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”
In Perry, Chief Justice Roberts led the 5-4 Court in dismissing an appeal to reinstate California’s Proposition 8, a voter-passed measure outlawing marriage between same-sex couples because of lack of standing. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion “[w]e have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.”
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.