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NEA statement on SCOTUS consideration of same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON - March 27, 2013 -

This week, the Supreme Court is hearing challenges to California’s Proposition 8 (bans same-sex marriage in that state) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that defines marriage for purposes of federal law as between a man and a woman. The National Education Association filed amicus briefs earlier this month arguing that both Proposition 8 and DOMA should be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement on behalf of the National Education Association’s more than 3 million members:

“Prop 8 and DOMA aren’t just unconstitutional, they contradict American values of fairness, inclusion and freedom for all. We cannot fully teach fundamental values like the importance of diversity and understanding cultures in our classrooms when not all Americans have the same basic civil rights. Individuals should not be denied access to health coverage, Social Security benefits and a host of other federal protections because of whom they have married.”

“NEA members know that strong families help our kids achieve in the classroom – regardless of what that family looks like. And we know that students learn best when they are not bullied and silenced due to their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of their parents. We stand with members of the LGBTQ community, including educators and students, in the fight for equality. Americans deserve no less than that.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,