Ellen Degeneres Wrote The Best Supreme Court Brief Ever In Support Of Gay Marriage

Owen Poindexter
Ellen Degeneres joined the Obama Administration and a group of Republicans in writing to the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage, in anticipation of two cases they will take up this month.

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi are definitely my favorite celebrity couple. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

Ellen Degeneres wrote what I'm willing to say is the best brief ever submitted to the Supreme Court, which she submitted in anticipation of the Supreme Court taking up two cases related to gay marriage. How many other Supreme Court briefs have I read? Not sure, but I'll estimate between zero and three. And yet, I feel perfectly comfortable assuming that Supreme Court briefs rarely "quote" Ben Franklin as saying, "we're here, we're queer, get over it." Those briefs might have other redeeming values, but I doubt they redeem themselves all the way up to being as good as Ellen's brief, which is charming, funny and actually makes a real point very succinctly: Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi have been married for four years. Other than the various emotional reactions that has triggered (and we're not policing those, right?) has their union mattered to the 99.99% of the world that doesn't know them personally?

In writing the brief, Ellen joins the Obama Administration and a group of Republicans who have written to the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

Here, reproduced in full, is Ellen Degeneres' brief to the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

California’s Proposition 8 is headed to the Supreme Court. Hundreds of companies and families as well as Republicans are submitting briefs urging the 9 judges to allow gay people to marry. I thought that was ridiculous. Why would judges want all of that underwear? Then, after a quick talk with some people, I found out what a brief was.

I’ve never filed a brief to the Supreme Court, so I thought I would post mine here. I’m sure someone will tweet it to them.

Portia and I have been married for 4 years and they have been the happiest of my life. And in those 4 years, I don’t think we hurt anyone else’s marriage. I asked all of my neighbors and they say they’re fine.  

But even though Portia and I got married in the short period of time when it was legal in California, there are 1,138 federal rights for married couples that we don’t have, including some that protect married people from losing their homes, or their savings or custody of their children.

The truth is, Portia and I aren’t as different from you as you might think. We’re just trying to find happiness in the bodies and minds we were given, like everyone else.

Coming out was one of the hardest things I ever did. I didn’t intend to be on the cover of Time magazine saying, “Yep, I’m gay.” The truth is, I don’t even remember saying that. I mean, I definitely said the “I’m gay” part. It’s the “yep” I don’t remember. I’m not really a “yep” person. “Yes siree Bob” maybe. But not “yep."

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “We’re here, we’re queer, get over it.” And there’s another famous quote that says “A society is judged by how it treats its weakest members.” I couldn’t agree with that more. No one’s really sure who said it first, so if anyone asks, tell them I said it.

I hope the Supreme Court will do the right thing, and let everyone enjoy the same rights. It’s going to help keep families together. It’s going to make kids feel better about who they are. And it is time.

*I was just told Benjamin Franklin did not say that first quote. I apologize and see that I have a lot to learn about stuff.

Degeneres 1, Scalia -6. Roberts, Kennedy, et. al, don't be shy about making a little history here. To quote Ellen, it is time.