Marriage Equality

Yesterday Power and Principle were aligned.  I do not see that very often in my civil rights practice.  It is exciting and gives me hope.  I sat in the bar section watching Justice Kennedy announce the marriage equality decision.  Many of the battle hardened litigators around me were weeping.  I was too.  It was a profound moment in our history.  Justice Kennedy tracks the history of oppression suffered by gays.  Through it all he reminds us they have loved and now are raising thousands of children.  “The nature of injustice,” he writes, is that we may not always see it in our own times… When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a re­ceived legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”  Yesterday marriage opened to same sex couples.  Their claim to liberty was resoundingly accepted.  There are many other ways in which our constitutional ideals fall short of our lived reality but, while the White House is lit up in rainbow colors and while I read a Supreme Court decision announcing nationwide marriage equality in a case our firm filed right here in Cincinnati, this is truly a moment to savor.  Thank you Jim and John Obergefell and all the plaintiffs in our marriage cases for trusting us to pursue this cause.  Thank you past advocates and plaintiffs who suffered the many losses and eventual wins to get us to this place.  Thank you to the legal team here at Gerhardstein & Branch and all our co-counsel who have worked so diligently.  Thank you friends and family who have supported this important work.  I am honored to be part of this moment.


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  1. Alethea Teh Busken June 27, 2015 — 8:22 pm

    Congrats, Mr. Gerhardstein! You spoke with our (Judge Thapar) Supreme Court Seminar in April, and we predicted the result! It is a thrill to sit on the sidelines watching civil rights law being made as we enter the profession.


  2. Dean and Lora Child June 28, 2015 — 4:49 am

    Dean and I are really proud of you, Al, and thrilled to see this historic event in our time. How wonderful it must have been to be in the Court at that moment and to hear the decision read – so powerful and moving. We are so happy to see justice done and, as you said so beautifully, power and principle aligned. Much love. Dean and Lora Child.


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