Hispanic National Bar Association Victorious as Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act


Contact: Erika Lopez-Tello
E-mail: elopeztello@hnba.com
Phone: (202) 223-4777


June 26, 2013


Hispanic National Bar Association Joined Amicus BRIEF Opposing Federal Defense of Marriage Act


Washington, DC (06/26/2013)

Today in a landmark decision, United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which limited federal recognition of marriage to only opposite sex unions.  The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) joined an amicus brief in the case, arguing that laws discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation must be subject to heightened scrutiny.  Previously, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit similarly held Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional under  the heightened scrutiny test in Windsor v. United States of America, recognizing the long history of discrimination suffered by LGBT people in this country.  In another case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court held that the Petitioners lacked standing to challenge a district court’s ruling that the State of California’s same-sex marriage ban under Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

“The HNBA hails this decision by the Supreme Court to strike down Section 3 of DOMA, which relegated same-sex couples’ marriages to second-class status,” stated Peter M. Reyes, Jr., National President of the HNBA.  This historic decision affirming equal rights for same-sex couples is long overdue. While significant progress was made this day, the HNBA will continue to advocate for equal rights for all of its members, including in the LGBT community.


About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding four decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.