Forum for Equality Louisiana (FFELA) is proud to partner with the Utah Pride Center, the Campaign for Southern Equality, the Equality Federation, and twenty-three other statewide Equality Organizations in filing an amicus curiae brief in the two cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and United States v. Windsor (DOMA). We are honored to stand with these organizations and with an increasingly concerned public in presenting to the Court the harsh reality that LGBT Americans, while living with dignity in every state across the nation, are still cast aside as second-class citizens in the eyes of the law. To read the brief, please click here.
“Windsor provides the Supreme Court the opportunity to finally level the playing field for LGBT Americans by requiring courts at all levels, state and federal, to more strictly review laws that impact, and sometimes target, the LGBT community,” explains Sean Sullivan, local attorney and Forum for Equality Board Member. “While this is very significant given recent and continuing advancements made towards equality in some states, it is even more pressing for people in those states that still face shameful inequalities under the law, such as here in Louisiana.”
The brief filed today urges the Court to recognize and correct the current inequalities that exist in our legal system with respect to LGBT Americans. In too many states, the LGBT community is systematically oppressed by systems of de jure denigration: educational statutes exclude, demean, and harm children and teens simply trying to exist and be accepted, sometimes to a fatal end; adoption statutes prevent the establishment of solid, loving, and protective family units; marriage laws are recognized amongst and between the states, unless you are gay, at which point the Constitution no longer applies.
In Louisiana, we are far too familiar with this struggle towards equal protection under the law. “Forum for Equality consistently works towards fair and equal treatment for LGBT Louisianans, specifically having fought against the 2004 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, fighting to protect children from harmful school policies, and fighting to make LGBT Louisianans equally secure in the their jobs as their heterosexual colleagues. We have witnessed victories and defeats across the United States in all these fields, and that is why it is so important for us to join our partners from other states in filing this brief,” said SarahJane Brady, Executive Director of Forum For Equality.
Court action is necessary in order to end the institutionalized discrimination of an America’s LGBT citizens. Given the state of LGBT rights, the Court should use this DOMA challenge to raise the level of scrutiny that must be applied to laws impacting LGBT Americans, and equally protect this minority group from a seemingly tyrannical majority. In far too many states, LGBT Americans are politically unable to prevent or repeal blatantly discriminatory legislative action, warranting specific protection from the courts. The Forum for Equality is honored to work towards that goal with our allies across the country.
SarahJane and Sean Sullivan
SarahJane E. Brady
Forum For Equality
336 Lafayette Street, Suite 200
New Orleans, LA 70130