(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Amnesty International USA issued the following comments today by Cristina Finch, managing director, women's human rights program, in response to oral arguments heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on two cases involving LGBT rights and marriage equality:
"The right to marry the partner of your choice is a human right enshrined in international law. It should also be protected by the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Every day around the globe, people are killed, maimed, persecuted and imprisoned due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This terrible violence and discrimination is rooted in existing stigma against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and prevents them from accessing the full range of human rights every person is born with.
"A marriage license does more than just publicly recognize a relationship between two people. When same-sex relationships are denied equal protection under law, individuals may be denied the full range of rights; for example, the rights to housing, to social security and to custody of children. And importantly, we know that denying some rights can fuel further discrimination and other human rights abuses. By affirming the right of every person to marry the partner of their choice, the U.S. Supreme Court would take an important step towards ensuring equality for all citizens, no matter whom they love."
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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.