June 29, 2015

In a historic civil rights ruling issued today in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage a right available to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. The OAH Executive Board submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners written by historian and OAH member George Chauncey on the history of discrimination against gay men and lesbians in America. This brief was cited specifically by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion, as was the historical scholarship of OAH president-elect Nancy Cott and other prominent American historians.

OAH’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ Historians and Histories stated, “[we] celebrate the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states and making marriage equality a reality. The decision’s grounding in historical scholarship and its citation of amicus briefs written and signed by historians, including OAH president-elect Nancy Cott, George Chauncey, and many other OAH members, testifies to the transformative power of writing and teaching history. We hope that this historic decision quickens the momentum toward justice for all people across lines of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, disability, religion, and nationality.”