Transcript: Remarks by Jeffrey Zarrillo & Paul Katami on the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage

Transcript of remarks by Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami, plaintiffs who sued the state of California for the right to marry, on the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and to reject the appeal of Proposition 8 proponents in Hollingsworth v. Perry on June 26, 2013:

Jeffrey Zarrillo:

Our desire to do something and get involved in this case – to be plaintiffs – was very important to us.

Perry changed the conversation. It altered the game. It created a groundswell of momentum and passion that brought us here to the Supreme Court today.

Today, the court said that I am more equal – that we are more equal. Our love is just like our parents’ and our grandparents’, and that any children that we may have in the future will be more secure.

I look forward to growing old with the man I love. Our desire to marry has only deepened the last four years as has our love and commitment to one another.

We look forward to using the words “married” and “husband” because those words do matter. They are important.

I said it in my testimony in court, “If they weren’t important, we wouldn’t be standing here today.”

I’d like to give special thanks to Ted and David and the entire legal team but Ted and David specifically because their passion for equality is only trumped by the size of their heart.

I’d like to thank Kris and Sandy for taking this ride with us, to Chad Griffin for his amazing strategic vision, to Adam and the entire team at the American Foundation for Equal Rights and for the support that we have received from countless people that we don’t even know but who will benefit just as profoundly from this ruling today.

Thank you very much. Today’s a great day to be an American.


Paul Katami:

…Today’s a great day. When we enter this building, we always see those words “equal justice under the law”. And today, we’re closer to that equality.

We’re lucky, and we know that the fight continues across this country. We cannot forget our LGBT brothers and sisters that are in states that still discriminate against them, and we will not allow it. We will continue to fight until all of us are equal.

You know, Prop. 8 did one thing: It really helped us turn anger into action. It led to the American Foundation for Equal Rights. It led to this case and to today’s victory as well.

And we stand on the shoulders of so many people that came before us. People that risked their lives to stand up and be who they are. They gave us the legs to stand up on today. They gave us the momentum to run with and the voice to speak loudly and say proudly that we are gay, we are American, and we will not be treated like second class citizens.

So although we celebrate today, we work to make sure that everyone like Jeff and I and Kris and Sandy – we just want to get married because it’s the natural next step in our relationship. We want to join the institution of marriage not to take anything away but to strengthen it and to live up to its ideals.

So today’s a good day. It’s the day I finally get to look at the man that I love and finally say, “Will you please marry me?”


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