WASHINGTON – In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the Perry v. Brown case – the suit challenging California’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples known as Prop 8. If the court decides not to hear the case, the appeals court ruling will stand striking down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, and the state will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples again. The court will also consider whether to review a number of cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars the federal government from recognizing married same-sex couples, even in states that legally recognize their union. These milestones, along with the four states deciding marriage-related issues on the ballot in November makes these next few weeks critical to the future of marriage equality in this country.
On Wednesday, September 18, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. E.T., the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will hold a national phone press briefing on the status of the marriage cases in front of the Supreme Court and the marriage equality landscape across the country.
In the states, voters in Washington and Maryland will head to the polls to affirm marriage equality legislation passed by their state legislatures. In Maine, we are looking at the first chance to proactively pass marriage at the ballot. And in Minnesota, voters can vote no on a proposed constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Heading into 2013, we’re also looking at possible marriage equality bills in states like Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Of course, the presidential election also will be a turning point in the fight for marriage. President Obama supports full marriage equality – and is the first president to do so while in office. He’s also directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA. Mitt Romney presents an alarming contrast – he doesn’t support relationship recognition for same-sex couples (even George W. Bush supported civil unions), he’s vowed to defend DOMA, and he’s even pledged to support a constitutional amendment banning committed, loving same-sex couples from marrying.
Momentum is on our side – a majority of Americans, including an increasing number of conservatives, support marriage equality. Help spread the word and share this chart with your friends and family.