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Chicago Urban League Responds to Supreme Court Rulings on Voting Rights And Marriage Equality

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts
Roderick Hawkins
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Lauren Love
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Chicago Urban League Responds to Supreme Court Rulings on Voting Rights And Marriage Equality

(June 26, 2013)-“Today the Supreme Court made a historic ruling that paves the way for legally married same-sex couples to enjoy the federal benefits of marriage as well as restoring the freedom to marry in California. As a civil rights organization that has, for nearly a century, fought for equality for the underserved and disenfranchised, we applaud this decision. As advocates for marriage equality, we see today’s decision as further motivation to call on the Illinois House of Representatives to do what is right and enact legislation that will grant same-sex couples the right to marry in our state.

“While we applaud the Supreme Court for today’s decision, this victory is very bittersweet. Just twenty-four hours before ruling on the right side of history, the Supreme Court dealt a terrible blow to the civil rights community and our allies by essentially gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The Chicago Urban League stands with all organizations and individuals who work for equality in declaring that the Supreme Court, by striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act made the wrong decision. Our nation has made tremendous strides in the decades since the Voting Rights Act was passed. However, there are still many instances of voter discrimination and suppression which signal that monitoring, advocacy, and the protection of the federal government is still needed.

“As the nation prepares to mark 50 years since the March on Washington, a watershed moment in the struggle for basic human rights, the highest court in the land has, in the same week, issued rulings that are major setbacks and gains for civil rights. Though we are deeply disappointed in The Voting Rights Act decision, we are not discouraged. We will unite with our colleagues in the civil rights community and push Congress to enact a new and responsible formula for Section 4. We owe it to those who fought for us to have the rights we enjoy today as well as the generations who will follow in our footsteps.

“Today we join with all who believe in equality and inclusiveness in celebrating today’s victory. Tomorrow we will roll up our sleeves and get back in the trenches. It is clear that we still have much more work to do.”

Andrea L. Zopp
President and CEO
Chicago Urban League