ATLANTA – Members of the Atlanta City Council called today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriages a victory for those who cherish equality and the liberties afforded to all Americans under the U.S. Constitution.

“I celebrate today’s landmark Supreme Court decision with my LGBT brothers and sisters in Atlanta, in Georgia, and in the United States,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan. “This is a historic milestone for human and civil rights in America and marks a huge step closer towards equality for the LGBT community. LOVE WINS.”

Wan’s colleagues agreed.

“I applaud the actions of the U.S. Supreme Court for prohibiting a ban on same sex marriage,” said Council President Ceasar Mitchell. “This ruling is long overdue. All citizens deserve the same rights and protections under our Constitution, and today’s ruling is a historic victory for all Americans.”

“This is an exciting and humbling day in American history,” said City Councilmember Kwanza Hall. “Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is the culmination of decades of hard work by LGBT Americans, their families, and their allies across the country. Today we are seeing what happens when people band together to fight for what is right, state their case, and make allies along the way, regardless of how long it takes. I could not be happier or prouder. Love has won today.”

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is one of the basic civil rights of the American people, fundamental to our very existence and survival. In fact, in 1974 the Supreme Court declared that: “This court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the [Constitution].”

Marriages that are deemed legally valid by the federal and state governments provide the married couple with more than 1,138 federal rights, privileges, economic advantages and legal protections.

Those rights include access to health care, inheritance of social security benefits and eligibility for significant taxation advantages.  Protections afforded to each spouse in a legal marriage include protection of their parental relationship with their children, protection of the inheritance rights of their spouse and children, ensuring hospital visitation rights and the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, and protection of property rights.

With today’s historic decision, those rights are now extended to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community.

City Councilmember Andre Dickens said: “I am very pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same sex marriages. I believe it is long overdue and I’m glad that the judicial process has completed so that we all can be viewed equally in the eyes of the law.”

“As a strong supporter of marriage equality for many years,” said City Councilmember Mary Norwood, “I am absolutely thrilled that the Supreme Court has declared that marriage is a right for everyone in our country. I will be celebrating this afternoon and evening with many of my constituents and sharing their excitement and delight that this day has come to pass in our City, our State and our nation.”

 

Wan said the City of Atlanta has been in the forefront in the support of marriage equality.

“I want to express how proud I am to serve on an Atlanta City Council that in 2012 overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting marriage equality,” he said. “Thank you to all that have supported and stood by our community on this journey.”

In 2004, the Atlanta City Council also passed resolution opposing an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that banned same-sex marriages in Georgia.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling strikes down all state bans.

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