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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006

March 26, 2013

Contact: Azizah Ahmad
(202) 775-9555


WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the first of two oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. The first case is Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state. Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA was signed into law in 1996 and denies same-sex couples access to federal protections such as Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, and retirement savings benefits. The decisions in both cases will likely be announced in June.

"We strongly support marriage equality and encourage the Court to uphold equal protection for same-sex couples," said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). "Anti-miscegenation laws, which denied Asian Pacific Americans the right to marry freely, have a shameful history in our country. Americans of all races, sex, color, creed, or sexual orientation should have the right to marry the person they love and be treated equally under the law."

NAPABA has long supported marriage equality. In 2008, NAPABA and six of its affiliates were among the 60 local, state, and national Asian Pacific American organizations that filed amicus briefs supporting equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in California. NAPABA has also joined amicus briefs in lower court proceedings in the Perry and Windsor cases. This year, NAPABA joined amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of marriage equality in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 63 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of people of color in the legal profession.


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