WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in four states, including Ohio:
"All Americans should have the same rights,” Brown said. “Like so many Ohioans, I’m disappointed in today’s ruling that restricts the recognition of lawful marriages regardless of whom they love or where they live. It’s time for the courts to join the growing majority of Americans who support full civil rights for our gay and lesbian family, friends, and neighbors. I am optimistic that we will win this fight and will continue working to advance the cause of justice for all.”
Brown is a long-time supporter of marriage equality. He is one of a handful of sitting senators who voted against the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 – during his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Brown has met with members of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) from across Ohio to discuss the issues affecting the lives of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans – including marriage equality, school safety, and an end to workplace discrimination. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the legality of DOMA, Brown joined an amicus brief asking the Court to overturn the law. DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages, also denies LGBT couples many of the federal benefits and protections that other married couples enjoy.
The brief, submitted by more than 200 members of Congress, comes in addition to bipartisan briefs filed by the Obama administration, more than 300 companies, and 75 current and former legislators and government officials. It emphasizes that the federal government has no legitimate interest in denying married same-sex couples the rights and benefits afforded to other married couples.
While same-sex marriage is now legal in 32 states and the District of Columbia, 18 states have constitutional amendments banning marriage equality. The federal government also fails to recognize same-sex marriages, which denies federal benefits to these married couples. Overturning DOMA will ensure that married couples, no matter where they live or who they love, are treated equally under the law.
Brown supports equality of opportunity for all Americans and has previously cosponsored the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), the Student Nondiscrimination Act (SNDA), and the Safe Schools Improvement Act to end discrimination and bullying.