NASW staff, members join marriage equality rally

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

NASW student member Walter “Allen” Pittinger-Dunham and his husband, Phillip R. Pittinger-Dunham, participated in a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26 to show their support for marriage equality.

They joined an enthusiastic crowd as the high court began hearings in two cases that support marriage equality in the U.S.

From left, William Rinehart, Phillip Pittinger-Dunham and NASW student member Walter “Allen” Pittinger-Dunham attend the marriage equality rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It was important as a gay man for me to stand with others, both LGBTQ and ally alike, so that our voices would be heard,” said Allen Pittinger-Durham, who is set to graduate this month with an MSW from the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service. He noted he and his husband were married in the nation’s capital in 2010.

“For too long equality has been ‘misappropriated,’ and ‘fringe’ populations have been disenfranchised and denied the rights that are afforded to those of the ‘norm,’” he said. “I was proud to see people from all walks of life and faiths there to show support for what is truly a civil right. Marriage has been defined by the states and judicial system as a civil right, and to have LGBTQ and allies there to ensure that …. was very empowering.”

Other NASW members along with NASW national staff also joined in the Supreme Court demonstrations to show support for marriage equality. Prior to the event, NASW sent an advocacy alert to members.

It noted that the NASW policy positions support local, state, federal and international policies and legislation that ban all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, including marriage.

“It is time for our nation’s highest court to ensure that same sex couples are treated fairly under the law — and we need you to help make that happen,” the alert says.

The court heard arguments on March 26 in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry, otherwise known as Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California.

The following day, court members heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, which challenges the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. It defines marriage for federal purposes as between a man and a woman.

NASW, through its Legal Defense Fund, filed amicus briefs in both cases.

From the May 2013 NASW News. NASW members click here for the full story.

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