Ropes & Gray Partner Argues Marriage Equality Cases before the Supreme Court

In The News
April 28, 2015

On April 28, Ropes & Gray partner Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, who leads the firm’s appellate & Supreme Court practice, joined Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), to represent plaintiffs in a landmark marriage equality case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges.

Mr. Hallward-Driemeier presented arguments for question 2: “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?,” and Ms. Bonauto addressed question 1: “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?.”

"It is an incredible honor to represent these devoted couples, who have already been lawfully married and established new families, in arguing to vindicate their right to have the states respect their marriages,” Mr. Hallward-Driemeier said. “The plaintiffs in these cases reflect the broad array of couples, from those together for three decades to those just starting young families, and the many instances in which married couples must cross state lines to work for a new employer, give birth at the nearest hospital, or seek out new opportunities. These couples deserve the same respect and stability that states grant other married couples and their families throughout every phase of life.”

“The road that we’ve all travelled to get here has been built by so many people who believe that marriage is a fundamental right for all people,” Ms. Bonauto said. “Same-sex couples should not be excluded from the joy, the security, and the full citizenship signified by that institution. I look forward to the day when all LGBT Americans will be able to marry the person they love.”

A joint statement issued by the ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights said, “As the legal team and advocates who have brought our community and our nation to this historic moment, we are proud to stand behind Mary and Doug, with all of our clients and all of the same-sex couples in this country who seek the freedom to marry and to have their marriages respected.”