Eleanor Holmes Norton

Speech at Marriage Equality Rally - March 26, 2013

Eleanor Holmes Norton
March 26, 2013
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Thank you all for coming out this morning. First I must say that I am proud today to represent the District of Columbia which, along with nine states, did not wait for the Supreme Court to do the right thing but simply passed our marriage equality law. I come this morning to call out those who would use the District of Columbia and the handful of marriage equality states against the majority of LGBT Americans to promote a slow approach to recognizing their fundamental right to marry.

The majority of LGBT Americans don’t live in the District of Columbia or in those nine good states. They live in states that have already rushed to take away the right to marry at the highest level in their own state constitutions. California went further to show what a determined rights-denying majority can do even after its highest court protects the right to marry. An audacious California majority moved in against its LGBT minority to do what the Bill of Rights forbids. They simply declared themselves the arbiter of fundamental rights with Proposition 8 and attempted to one-up their own high court and take back, rescind, erase the fundamental right of a couple to marry. An even larger and more threatening majority in the United States Congress has used the so-called Defense Against Marriage Act to insinuate itself into the exclusive marital jurisdiction of the states to decide which state marriages to recognize and which state marriages not to recognize.

We call on this court today to simply do your job. The Court has said that marriage is a fundamental right. The Court cannot say today that marriage is fundamental only for straight couples. We say to the Court, ‘Do your job as the Constitution demands. Do your job’. This is one nation indivisible, and the Court must recognize all couples. There are no-second class citizens in America, and there are no-second class marriages in America.

Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ioqnlknQX4&list=UUhRrAXUGylfxJjbquC6aUjQ.