Advocate for Equality

Vol. 42 No. 5


Nicole Israel is the student editor of Student Lawyer magazine.

Last summer, the Supreme Court of the United States issued two opinions that drastically impacted the LGBT community. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held that a ban on federal benefits for gay couples is unconstitutional. On the same day, in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Court held that California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative prohibiting same-sex marriages in that state, remained unconstitutional.

These decisions caused contentious debate before and after issuance. For John Medeiros, a student at Hamline University School of Law, the debate was personal. As co-chair of the Stonewall Alliance, the LGBT law student group at Hamline, he made sure to bring the conversation directly to his Minnesota campus. At the time, Minnesota was considering its own constitutional amendment to define marriage as solely between a man and woman.

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