March 31, 2015
Mary L. Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28, 2015, behalf of same-sex couples who are currently being excluded from marriage. She will stand on behalf of the Michigan case DeBoer v. Snyder and the Kentucky case Love v. Beshear.
Bonauto issued the following statement:
“I’m humbled to be standing up for the petitioners from Kentucky and Michigan who seek the freedom to marry, along with attorneys Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill, and Robert Sedler, and with support from the other legal teams in OH and TN. The road that we’ve all travelled to get here has been built by so many people who believe that marriage is a fundamental right. Same-sex couples should not be excluded from the joy, the security, and the full citizenship signified by that institution. I believe the Court will give us a fair hearing, and I look forward to the day when all LGBT Americans will be able to marry the person they love.”
Janson Wu, GLAD’s executive director, said, “Our community is extremely fortunate to have Mary as our advocate. To say she has deep knowledge of the issues is an understatement; it is equally an understatement to say she has a sharp legal mind, a big heart, and a generous spirit.”
Bonauto became a member of the legal team for the Michigan case DeBoer v. Snyder at the invitation of co-counsel Nessel, Stanyar, Mogill, and Sedler, and has helped to organize amicus briefs for the marriage cases. Bonauto argued GLAD’s case Goodridge v. DPH, which made Massachusetts the first state in which same-sex couples could marry in 2004. GLAD’s Defense of Marriage Act challenges Gill v. OPMand Pedersen v. OPM, spearheaded by Bonauto, also produced the first rulings from a federal court that DOMA was unconstitutional. She was also part of the legal team on Windsor v. U.S., resulting in the striking down of DOMA.
Also co-counsel on the four cases are Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union. And on April 28, attorney Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, on behalf of petitioners from Ohio and Tennessee, will present arguments for the question: “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”