Minneapolis-Saint Paul Mayors Call on Supreme Court to Affirm Freedom to Marry
Coleman, Hodges sign Mayors’ U.S. Amicus Brief urging Federal Court to expand Constitution to include same-sex couples
TWIN CITIES – Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges today joined 224 mayors in signing onto an Amicus Brief calling for the United States Supreme Court to support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and strike down anti-marriage laws nationwide as unconstitutional. The friend-of-the-court brief, put together by the nonpartisan group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, represents 226 mayors and 50 cities from across the country who support the freedom to marry for all couples. It is the largest compilation of mayors and cities to sign onto a Supreme Court amicus brief.
“Saint Paul is proud of its long history of fighting for civil and human rights for all people,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “We share in this responsibility to move our country forward and to stand up for the right of caring, mature adults to love whomever they want, and to display that love through marriage.”
The brief was authored by the City Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles and was filed at the U.S. Supreme Court Friday morning. The U.S. Supreme Court has granted four petitions to four states – Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee – for rulings in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld same-sex marriage bans. The nine justices will be hearing oral arguments in April, with a decision expected by June on whether or not same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. This brief urges the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the freedom to marry for all.
“We have made a lot of progress here in Minnesota when it comes to recognizing the freedom to marry for all couples, but we’re not there yet,” said Mayor Hodges, who was authorized to sign onto the amicus brief in a February 27 vote by the Minneapolis City Council. “There are still couples in our community waiting for the federal government to legally recognize their marriages, and many more in states with zero legal recognition. I am proud to add my name to the growing list of people who believe the Supreme Court should recognize that all people deserve to marry the person they love.”
Both Mayor Hodges and Mayor Coleman are members of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, which includes hundreds of mayors from across the country who stand together to communicate the following to the highest Court:
· First, excluding a certain class of citizens from marriage undermines the dignity and respect that government owes all its citizens;
· Second, official recognition of marriage as a fundamental right of all citizens, including gay men and lesbians, is crucial to municipalities and their ability to treat citizens with equal dignity and respect; and
· Finally, marriage equality cannot have full meaning unless it is recognized uniformly across state lines.
The mayors have long been outspoken advocates for marriage equality within their cities and the state of Minnesota. Both were involved with the successful Minnesotans United for All Families campaigns to defeat the 2012 constitutional amendment that would have limited the freedom to marry and the 2013 legislative effort which won the freedom to marry for all couples in Minnesota. In support of the legislative effort, Mayor Coleman renamed the Wabasha Bridge, proclaiming it the “Freedom to Marry” bridge, flying rainbow flags from the structure for a week before the vote. Last month Mayor Hodges unveiled a plaque at City Hall commemorating the first legal same-sex marriages performed there on August 1, 2013.
Published Mar 6, 2015