MARCH IS FOR MAR­RIAGE

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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)

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