The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to recognize that the Constitution forbids state governments from denying the rights of marriage to same sex couples. Over the past few years, HAF joined numerous amicus briefs at the Supreme Court and lower court levels supporting marriage equality.
“Today is a great day for all Americans who will have the dignity of marriage, regardless of where they live or who they love,” noted Harsh Voruganti, HAF’s Associate Director of Public Policy. “The Supreme Court’s decision reinforces HAF’s stance throughout this case: that the Constitution does not permit governments to deny marriage to same sex couples.”
Today’s decision was the culmination of a dramatic turnaround in both popular opinion and legal recognition of same sex marriage. Ten years ago, only Massachusetts recognized same sex marriage, while the majority of other states had passed constitutional amendments prohibiting any official recognition of same sex relationships. Today’s decision renders those amendments unenforceable.
HAF, along with a broad coalition of religious and secular groups, joined amicus efforts supporting marriage equality. HAF successfully joined amicus briefs supporting LGBT rights in US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry before joining the effort on Obergefell.
“HAF’s work on this issue is consistent with our view that Hinduism provides no spiritual basis to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” noted Swaminathan Venkataraman, a member of HAF’s Executive Council and the primary author of HAF’s Hinduism and Homosexuality policy paper.