City of West Hollywood Celebrates Historic U.S. Supreme Court Decision
The City of West Hollywood is celebrating the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding marriage equality. The justices ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is linked to three other cases, by a 5-4 decision that all states must license and recognize same-sex marriages.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community leaders and dozens of community organizations joined together for a celebration rally in the City of West Hollywood to mark the decision. The rally took place on Friday, June 26, 2015, at 6 p.m. at West Hollywood Park; approximately 2,000 people attended the celebration.
“Today is a proud moment in our nation’s history,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “Marriage equality is now the law of the land, bestowing upon all couples the legal benefits and protections afforded by our government. We celebrate this important victory for LGBT rights as we continue the struggle for full equality among all people.”
“The Supreme Court decision gives me confidence to believe that where there is love, there is hope. It was the right decision,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister. “If you believe in equality and ‘justice for all,’ then you must support marriage equality. If you believe that each and every one of us has rights that are protected under the law, then you must support marriage equality. If you believe that love is love, then you must support marriage equality.”
“Of course this is exciting news, an exclamation point at the end of the last paragraph of an important chapter in the book about civil rights in the US,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. “And tomorrow we turn the page and start writing the next chapter for there is much more to do.”
“We have come a long way since West Hollywood was part of the founding of Equality California in 2000 to secure marriage equality in our State,” said Councilmember John J. Duran. “But we must recognize that this political victory came with a very high price we had to pay. The hundreds of thousands of lives lost because of AIDS forced the American people to address the reality that they had gay people in their families and lives. AIDS tragically humanized us in the epidemic so that the lies and false myths of our political enemies were shattered. Our civil rights movement was placed on the fast track because of AIDS — but we paid a terrible price. Every happy couple today should celebrate their marriage and pay homage to the sacrifices others made to get us here.”
“This is a great victory,” said Councilmember John Heilman. “When West Hollywood adopted domestic partnership legislation 30 years ago, we were the first City to provide legal recognition for same-sex couples. Thank you to the courageous attorneys at Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and other organizations who have led the fight for marriage equality for all couples.”
The City of West Hollywood has been one of the most outspoken cities in the nation to advocate for the legal rights of LGBT people. In 1985, the City of West Hollywood was one of the first cities in the country to adopt a Domestic Partnership Ordinance. In October 2014, the City marked an exciting milestone as the City Clerk’s office at West Hollywood City Hall filed its 10,000th couple as registered Domestic Partners.
West Hollywood was one of the first cities in the country to pass a resolution in support of marriage equality. This paved the way for same-sex marriage initiatives all over the country. In June 2008, in a monumental moment in U.S. history, the city, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder Clerk, began to issue marriage licenses and perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples after the California Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The City was forced to halt those marriages in November 2008 with the passage of Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. A long legal battle ensued in federal court, which finally resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court dismissing an appeal in Hollingsworth v. Perry in June 2013 allowing same-sex marriages to resume. The City of West Hollywood launched a marriage celebration, and to date, West Hollywood councilmembers and city officials have performed hundreds of civil ceremonies.
For more information, please contact West Hollywood City Hall at (323) 848-6400 or the Los Angeles LGBT Center at (323) 993-7400. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.