Law Professor Suzanne Goldberg Weighs in on Historic Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
Columbia Law School Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg has more reason than most to be thrilled with the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. As a lawyer for nearly a decade with Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest legal organization working for civil rights of LGBTQ individuals, she has been a force in the fight for marriage equality. Goldberg served as co-counsel on two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases: Romer v. Evans, which invalidated a Colorado constitutional amendment that blocked LGBT individuals from receiving anti-discrimination protection, and Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down that state’s anti-sodomy law.
Lawrence v. Texas was litigated all the way up to the Supreme Court, which in 2003 invalidated the state’s sodomy laws in a 6-3 ruling written by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. It was the first in a series of court challenges that culminated in Friday’s historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, written once again by Kennedy.
Goldberg, now executive vice president of University Life and a law professor who runs the Law School's Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, says “by striking down state laws that shut same-sex couples out of marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court has put an end to a long and painful chapter in our country’s history and, at the same time, created an opening for a new wave of civil rights, safety, and justice advocacy.“