The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) praised yesterday’s ruling that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the California voter-approved ban violated due process and the equal protection clause under the U.S. Constitution.
Praising the ruling, JACL National President David Kawamoto stated, “The JACL welcomes this decision, which affirms an individual’s fundamental right to marry regardless of one’s sexual orientation. This ruling is about equal rights, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and confirms our nation’s commitment to fairness. While we know more legal hurdles lie ahead, this is one more step towards a just and inclusive society.”
The JACL has long supported marriage equality. In 1967, the JACL was an amici to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Loving v. Virginia, the seminal case that struck down anti-miscegenation in 17 states. In 1994, the JACL became a leader in this effort by becoming the first non-LGBT group after the ACLU to support marriage equality. When Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot in California, the JACL joined with API Equality to inform its members of the civil rights ramifications of this initiative, sponsoring programs and press conferences to educate the broader community that separate is not equal.
In his ruling, Judge Walker stated, “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”
JACL National Director Floyd Mori stated, “Any union of a couple that is based on love, mutual respect, sacrifice and commitment should be afforded the same legal rights. The JACL is pleased with this decision. Discrimination against any group of people has no place in our society.”
SOURCE: JACL press release