MARCH IS FOR MARRIAGE
Sumpreme Court to hear historic gay marriage cases.
A similar brief was filed regarding Prop 8 by 75 prominent Republicans, including former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman; Mary Cheney, the openly gay daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney; Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman; and Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey.
The brief, filed Feb. 26, urges the Supreme Court to strike down Prop 8, the amendment that revoked marriage equality in California.
“We’re proud to have these prominent Republicans ... in supporting a freedom-based constitutional argument for equality. None of us — Democrat, Republican or Independent — would want to be told that we can’t marry the person we love, and these signatories are blazing the trail for the next generation of fair-minded Republicans still to come,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement.
Brian Moulton, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, said this week a favorable decision by the court in the Proposition 8 case would answer a fundamental question of the marriage equality movement.
“A broad success in the Prop 8 case really answers this question for us, if there is a constitutional right for couples to marry, it answers the marriage equality question,” Moulton said.
A victory for opponents of Prop 8 would be a catalyst for change, Moulton said, not a cure for marriage woes in states like Georgia where constitutional amendments prohibit gay and lesbian couples from marriage. Town Hall Meeting on Marriage Equality and the US Supreme Court Hosted by Georgia Equality and Lambda Legal March 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, Georgia 30307
“We’re going to have to keep moving this issue forward across the country. At some point, we’ll exhaust the number of states where there isn’t an amendment. We’ll have to take them to the ballot and get rid of them by popular vote. Going back to the state and continuing the great work we’ve seen in the last several years is where we’ll have to focus,” he said.
What if we lose?
Should the court uphold DOMA, marriage advocates would face a much tougher road to nationwide equality. The battleground would become Congress through the Respect for Marriage Act, a proposed bill that would repeal DOMA, and the individual states.
States like Georgia and others where marriage equality is not a popular issue among many voters still have a reason to fight.
“A state like Georgia, where we might not be able to win in the short term, can still contribute to the national momentum,” Wolfson said. “There is plenty of work in Georgia, even if we’re not going to pass [marriage] in the Georgia Capitol in the immediate future.”
Building a coalition of states that have passed marriage equality efforts is the goal, however, despite whatever the court may decide.
“The key way we can do that is to continue winning more states and continue winning over more hearts and minds,” Wolfson added.
While a defeat before the court would sting, Wolfson said Freedom to Marry and other LGBT rights advocates would continue the march.
“No social justice movement ever goes without losses. Winning does not mean that you’re going to win everything. There will be losses. The movement will move forward and we have the victory in our reach if we keep up the work. We’d rather win sooner,” Wolfson said.
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act March 26-27. (Official photo/Architect of the Capitol)