Winning Plaintiff in Supreme Court Marriage Equality Case to Testify Tomorrow on Anti-LGBT Legislation Hearing

July 11, 2016 4:15 pm

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WASHINGTON — Jim Obergefell, former ACLU client and the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling, will testify tomorrow at a House hearing on a bill that would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, women, and others.

Tomorrow’s hearing on the “First Amendment Defense Act,” marks the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

“The Orlando tragedy on June 12 was a time of heartbreak for millions around the world and the worst attack on the LGBT community in our nation’s history,” said Obergefell. “Today, exactly one month after this horrifying event, this hearing is deeply hurtful to a still-grieving LGBT community. It is difficult for me to imagine why anyone would think such discrimination should be permitted in the year 2016. I believe that the United States Congress must be better than this and it is my sincere hope that Congress will move away from elevating proposals that only serve to harm vulnerable communities.”

The bill’s supporters argue that its singular intent is to prevent discrimination against “people and institutions that define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.” In practice, the ACLU said, the bill will permit sweeping taxpayer-funded discrimination. Based on a professed religious belief or even a legally ambiguous “moral conviction,” private organizations and certain federal contractors and grant recipients would be empowered to refuse a range of services to same-sex couples, single mothers, and unmarried couples.

Obergefell’s full testimony can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/hearing-statement/obergefell-fada-hearing-statement

The ACLU’s written statement to Congress is here: https://www.aclu.org/hearing-statement/aclu-fada-hearing-statement

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