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John Lewis
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John Lewis and his husband Stuart Gaffney are leaders in the freedom to marry movement. Together as a couple for 26 years, they were two of the plaintiffs in the historic 2008 lawsuit that held that California’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the state constitution. On June 17, 2008, they married at San Francisco City Hall, surrounded by friends and family.

John and Stuart are leaders in Marriage Equality USA, a national grassroots organization, and API Equality, a coalition targeting outreach and education to the Asian-American community. They have appeared extensively in local, national and international media. The focus of their work has been to foster connection between the general public and the lives of LGBTIQ people.

John is a graduate of Stanford Law School and is a lawyer.

Entries by John Lewis

Exciting Developments for LGBT Rights and Marriage Equality in Taiwan

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 1:24 PM

On January 16, 2016, Tsai Ing-wen made history when she was elected Taiwan's first female president. Tsai's election not only broke a glass ceiling for women in Taiwan, but it could herald a long-awaited breakthrough for LGBT rights in Taiwan and the rest of Asia. President-elect Tsai is an unabashed...

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First Monday in October 2017

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 5:45 PM

On the first Monday in October, the U.S. Supreme Court commenced a new term. To mark the occasion, Marriage Equality USA sent each of the five Justices who voted in favor of nationwide marriage equality last term a beautiful Rainbow Flag upon which attendees at this summer's San...

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Ban Ki-moon: Leading By Example

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 5:06 PM

In our recent blog Making History at the U.N., we told the story of openly gay Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas, who recently made history when he addressed the first ever meeting of the United Nations Security Council concerning the human rights of LGBT refugees. Today, we focus on...

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Making History at the U.N.

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 9:37 PM

Subhi Nahas, an openly gay Syrian refugee from Idlib, a city north of Damascus, made history last week when he and a gay Iraqi refugee addressed the first ever meeting of the United Nations Security Council concerning the human rights of LGBT refugees.

Nahas testified powerfully to the brutal...

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An Encouraging Ruling For Same-Sex Marriage

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 3:43 PM

As efforts to exclude LGBT couples from marriage continue in a handful of locales mostly in the South, the language of United States District Judge David Bunning's recent ruling rejecting Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis' attempt to use her religious beliefs to justify discrimination is encouraging.

Judge Bunning, a...

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Love Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 9:57 AM

Exactly one year ago we traveled to Japan to speak on LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, and we had the honor of addressing the crowd at Pink Dot Okinawa, a wonderful event with over 1,000 attendees who were treated to music, dance, speeches, and a beautiful marriage ceremony for Kazuki...

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A Decision for the Ages

(0) Comments | Posted July 5, 2015 | 7:22 PM

The United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing nationwide marriage equality will likely go down in history as one of the Court's great landmark rulings. The Court's opinion not only embraces liberty and marriage equality for LGBTQ Americans but reaffirms the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy....

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The Women's Movement, My Mom and Marriage Equality

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 4:00 PM

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's observation during the Supreme Court marriage equality hearings about the importance of the evolution of marriage under the law from "a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female" to an "egalitarian" institution really struck me. From a political perspective, Ginsburg's comments highlight the continuing...

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The Anticipation Builds

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 12:17 AM

As the day draws near for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in the marriage equality cases, the urge to decipher any clue as to what the Court will decide heightens. A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported that as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently pronounced two...

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From the Steps of the United States Supreme Court

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 3:02 PM

The atmosphere was electric and the excitement and anticipation palpable, as over a thousand LGBT people from all across the country gathered in Washington D.C. for the historic marriage equality arguments before the United States Supreme Court last Tuesday. Plaintiffs from over 30 cases, spanning three decades -- from Hawaii...

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The Time for Equality Is Now

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 5:03 PM

Nineteen years ago, the United States Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans struck down Colorado's notorious Amendment 2, a state constitutional provision that revoked all local ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and forbade state and local governments in Colorado from enacting or enforcing such protections in the future....

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Seize the Moment: Stop New Anti-LGBT Laws in Their Tracks and Replace Them with Real Protections for LGBT People

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 12:44 PM

As the momentum builds toward a United States Supreme Court decision in favor of nationwide marriage equality, the LGBT community in recent weeks has faced an onslaught of proposed or newly enacted state laws aimed at encouraging government officials, businesses, individuals and other organizations to refuse to serve LGBT people....

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The Supreme Court and the Power of Windsor

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 5:48 PM

With the Supreme Court's announcing it will review marriage discrimination laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, we look to the Court to apply United States v. Windsor, its powerful 2013 decision striking down Section 3 of DOMA, to establish marriage equality nationwide.

Windsor articulates incisively how DOMA's denying...

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Empathy and Kindness

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 9:49 PM

Even when my 89-year-old dad could barely walk and had compromised memory, he would survey his elder community's dining hall at meal time to see if anyone was sitting alone and join them, even if he had already finished eating. It was a simple act of empathy and kindness that...

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The Past Is Never Dead

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 3:48 PM

Federal Judge Carlton W. Reeves in his eloquent opinion striking down Mississippi's marriage equality ban noted William Faulkner's famous observation: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Judge Reeves then went on to apply his in-depth knowledge of the history of prejudice against LGBT Americans to support his...

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Time for the Supreme Court to Establish Full Constitutional Protection for LGBT People

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Last week's Sixth Circuit federal appellate court decision permitting Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee to continue to discriminate against loving, committed LGBT couples in marriage makes clear that the time has come for the United States Supreme Court not only to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality, but also...

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The Marriage Equality Express 2004

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 2:44 PM

On the morning of February 12, 2004, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom threw open the doors of San Francisco City Hall for all loving, committed couples to marry -- regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. Mayor Newsom declared that his oath to uphold the United States...

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There's No Place Like Home

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 2:49 PM

Like the twister that transported Dorothy's house to Oz 75 years ago, a tornado of love and equality has swept away numerous states' bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples over the last several days. Two places where same-sex couples have now married carry particular meaning for us: Milwaukee...

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All Eyes Turn to the U.S. Supreme Court

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 5:38 PM

Today the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss seven petitions from five different states urging it to decide on the constitutionality of state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage on a nationwide basis. The Supreme Court has complete discretion over whether or not to take a case. And...

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Heading Toward the Supremes

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 9:38 AM

All eyes will be on Washington later this month, as the United States Supreme Court has announced that on September 29, they will consider whether to hear one or more of the federal marriage equality cases in their current term. If they take one of the cases, we could have...

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