PFLAG National Submits Amicus Brief to Supreme Court

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PFLAG National Submits Amicus Brief Representing the Family Voice in the Fight for Marriage Equality

Mike Neubecker and family speak out on behalf of PFLAG National at a press conference on marriage equality heading to the Supreme Court

From L-R Mike Neubecker, his son's partner David, his granddaughter Braiden, and his wife Janet

“I want to call David my ‘son-in-law.’ I sometimes call him that now, even though I know there is no ‘law’ that supports that statement. Most of all, I want the law to stop seeing my son as a second class citizen or his love as second class.

PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization for families, friends and allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—today filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the landmark Perry v. Hollingsworth case. The case challenges the constitutionality of the discriminatory “Proposition 8” legislation in California that eliminated the right for same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on March 26 and 27.

“This brief shares the stories of PFLAG families and the very real impact that their lack of equal protection under the law has not just on the same –sex couple in a committed and loving relationship, but on the entire family,” said PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby.

“Their stories share real–life firsthand accounts of how seeing gay and lesbian family members in committed relationships and marriages has reaffirmed—not harmed—their views on the importance of the institution of marriage”

Today, at a Respect for Marriage Coalition press conference, one of the families profiled, the Neubeckers, were featured. They represented PFLAG National as part of a broad bipartisan coalition of organizations planning to file amicus briefs. Mike and Janice Neubecker, their son Lee’s partner David, and one of David and Lee’s children, Braiden, spoke on behalf of PFLAG families everywhere.

Mr. Neubecker spoke about the difference between marriage and civil unions, the latter of which is recognized in Illinois, which is where David and Lee make their home.

“I have been married for 41 years and when I say that word—‘MARRIED—people know what it means from just that single word,” said Mr. Neubecker. “Let me read to you from a letter that my granddaughter Braiden recently wrote to the Windy City Times, as she can say it better than I can: ‘Love is important! It doesn't matter who people love, as long as they are happy…my two dads should be able to be married and have the same rights as any married couple. How would you feel if you couldn’t marry someone just because the government said you weren’t allowed to…

My family has taught me that even if you don’t agree with someone, you should still be kind and respectful. The government should too. Also, my church tells me that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.’ ”

Neubecker concluded, stating, “I want to call David my ‘son-in-law.’ I sometimes call him that now, even though I know there is no ‘law’ that supports that statement. Most of all, I want the law to stop seeing my son as a second class citizen or his love as second class.”

Said Huckaby, “Each of these families in the brief has a story that is compelling and, most important, extremely personal. This is not an abstract law and civics lesson. This is about our families and the people we love. It is always personal.”

Additional online press resources:

To speak with any of the PFLAG families represented in the brief, please contact PFLAG National Communications Director Liz Owen.

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Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and straight ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with LGBT people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and acceptance through its mission of support, education and advocacy. Now in its 40th year, PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, please visit http://www.pflag.org.

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Liz Owen

Beth Kohm
PFLAG National
(703) 338 - 4876
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