from the inbox:
[PHILADELPHIA, PA – June 26, 2015]: Today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. According to the decision, states must also recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in the country.
“History was made earlier today with this landmark decision,” said Melissa Weiler Gerber, President and CEO of AccessMatters. ”Now everyone has an equal right to marry whomever they love.”
AccessMatters applauds the Supreme Court for recognizing marriage equality as a fundamental constitutional right: “No union,” states an excerpt from the closing paragraph of the majority opinion, “is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. ... [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Beyond granting same-sex couples the right to marry, this decision also grants these couples all of the federal benefits—hospital visitation rights, tax deductions and exemptions, access to spousal health insurance benefits, spousal social security, Medicare, and disability benefits, to name just a few –that are part and parcel of being married in the United States.
The Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell case is also a victory for the health of our communities. Research has shown, bolstered by groups like the American Medical Association, the positive impact of marriage on health. This correlation between marriage and health is equally true for gay and lesbian married couples.
In view of the Supreme Court’s decision, AccessMatters remains committed to the work of addressing LGBT-related health issues. Through our research, trainings, and education programs, we will continue to ensure that LGBT consumers feel safe and welcome in our Network of over 70 health centers. As a safety net provider that serves the most vulnerable populations, we will also continue our efforts to decrease LGBT-related health disparities in the Philadelphia area and beyond.
“Today’s decision marks a victory for supporters of marriage equality, LGBT families, and for the health of our communities,” said Weiler Gerber. “AccessMatters is proud our nation has taken this important step forward. We are now one step closer to transforming access to sexual and reproductive health and ensuring health equity for all.”
AccessMatters is the catalyst for providing access to sexual and reproductive health care for teens and adults in need reaching over 200,000 individuals annually. For more information about AccessMatters programs, visit www.AccessMatters.org, @AccessMatters4U on Twitter, and @AccessMatters on Facebook.