School Board Supports Marriage Equality

LOS ANGELES (March 19, 2013) —The Board of Education unanimously approved today a resolution in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples and with all the federal benefits for spouses such as employee health insurance, income tax deductions and Social Security survivor’s payments.


Sponsored by Board Member Bennett Kayser, the resolution specifically “urges the United States Supreme Court to respect the dignity of all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender families by supporting marriage equality and striking down both California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.”


“Education is often referred to as the great equalizer. I am pleased to let the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender members of the extended Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) family know that we stand with them as they seek their civil rights in marriage,” notes Kayser. “As educational providers to one million-plus children and adult students, employers of over 100,000 faculty and staff, and elected representatives of over 4.5 million constituents across 770 square miles, this governing body urges the United States Supreme Court to strike down the laws that create inequality and instability for our LGBT families, students and staff.”


The Supreme Court is scheduled next week to consider whether the Federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 violates the U. S. Constitution’s promise of equal protections to all under the law.   For example, a same-sex spouse who works for the federal government cannot put his or her partner on employee health benefits.  However, LAUSD was one of the first school districts to offer domestic partnerships to employees who are part of same-sex couples.


The nation’s highest court is also expected next week to examine whether California’s Proposition 8 – the ban on same-sex marriage approved by the voters in 2008 wrongfully denies LGBT partners an equal right to get married.   The year that measure was passed, the School Board approved a resolution supporting marriage equality.


Today’s resolution points out, “The Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals; Same-sex couples in California are denied the ability to express their love and commitment to one another through marriage and as a result of the Defense of Marriage Act, the inability to marry harms families and children by depriving parents and their children of over 1,000 rights and benefits the federal government provides to opposite-sex couples.”               



Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766