The Board of Directors of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) released a statement on marriage equality for all. In this statement, the NAD expresses strong support for the rights of GLBT deaf and hard of hearing individuals to marry, with all the legal protections that are afforded by marriage.
NAD Statement on Marriage Equality
The NAD affirmatively states its strong support for GLBT marriage equality, consistent with equal protections under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This stance is also consistent with the NAD mission to safeguard the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals – whose marriage rights have been suppressed throughout history. Accordingly, the NAD supports national, state and local policy or legislative initiatives that promote the right to marriage equality for all people, including GLBT deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins said, “Our stance on marriage equality reflects the historic commitment of the NAD to protection of the rights of all deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Marriage equality, and the benefits that go with marriage, are a fundamental civil right that must be accorded to everyone, including GLBT members of our community who deserve no less.”
The civil rights benefits of marriage equality will be emphasized during the 51st Biennial NAD Conference/DeaFestival Kentucky to be held July 3-7, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. On July 5, 2012, the GLBT Section of the NAD will host its Deaf Equality Luncheon; all supporters are welcome to register for the luncheon (Deadline: May 31, 2012) and for the NAD Conference. For more information, see www.nad.org/louisville.
The NAD has invited many presenters to its Conference to advance the rights of all deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and recognizes that there is diversity in their views with respect to marriage equality. Further, the NAD recognizes the need to work with a variety of people across the nation, including national, state and local policymakers and legislators, to secure equal rights for all deaf and hard of hearing individuals – including members of the GLBT community – as fully participating citizens of the United States.
The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the United States. Established in 1880, NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, congregate on issues important to them, and have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.
The advocacy scope of NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans.
On the international front, NAD represents the United States of America to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international human rights organization The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations.