Several mayors from across the country participated in a conference call today sponsored by the Respect for Marriage Coalition to urge the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who announced his support for marriage equality in December after struggling with the issue for some time, said today that while his city is progressive and offers domestic partnerships to city workers, Georgia overall is very conservative.
Several members of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers have resigned and many more signed a letter expressing disappointment after the organization did not take a stand on marriage equality for same-sex couples.
On April 10, four former presidents of GAWL and the current president of the Atlanta Bar Association, as well as 51 other members, signed a letter from its Public Affairs Committee & Feminist Affinity Group to the bar association's leadership stating their dissatisfaction that the bar association chose not to join in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court against California's Prop. 8, which ended same-sex marriage in the state.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a good story that was posted late Tuesday night titled "As Supreme Court weighs same-sex marriage, Georgians in 2004 battle look forward."
What we learned from the story:
• Jeff Graham, now executive director of Georgia Equality, said in 2004 Georgia LGBT activists didn't take the right approach when taking their message to voters.
"We didn’t begin to change people’s minds (with) the big politics; it’s about the simple message of wanting to take care of the person you love,” he said. “Once we stopped being afraid to talk about that fact … that’s when the public attitudes about this started to change.”
Tensions were high at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as justices hammered attorneys with tough questioning on prospective rulings on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 — with a particular emphasis on inquiries about standing.
Within moments of the opening of the oral arguments in the Prop 8 case, known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, justices interrupted both Charles Cooper, who is arguing in favor of Prop 8, and Ted Olson, who is arguing against it on behalf of two plaintiff gay couples, with questions about standing.
Anti-gay groups, such as ProtectMarriage.com, are defending Prop 8 in court because California officials — Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — have elected not to do so. Whether these groups have standing to defend the law is a question posed by the court.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases this month that could decide the course of the fight for marriage equality for a generation.
The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that ended same-sex marriage in California, on March 26.
“This case is about the fundamental constitutional right of every American to marry the person they love,” said Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which represents two gay couples challenging the law.
Both a federal district court and a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have already found the measure unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears two landmark cases this month that deal with the question of marriage for same-sex couples.
No one can know how the court will rule, but legal experts have outlined several possible scenarios. Here are some of the most likely and what they would mean both nationally and here in Georgia.
What’s at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage
As the Supreme Court showdown on gay marriage nears, the friend-of-the-court briefs just keep coming. Georgia Equality has joined with other LGBT organizations to ask the court to strike down both the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.
Dubbed the "Red State Brief," the brief comes from 28 organizations advocating for LGBT people in areas of the country, like Georgia, which are unlikely to advance marriage equality without a push from the federal level.
The Atlanta Bar Association voted unanimously this month to sign on to an amicus brief — a legal brief filed by a person or group that is not a party in the case but has a strong interest in it — urging the U.S. Supreme Court strike down Prop 8 in California and allow for legal marriages of same-sex couples.
The Atlanta Bar Association's board of directors, which has one openly gay member, is one of numerous non-LGBT bar organizations and other groups recruited to support marriage equality and ask the nation's highest court to rule against Prop 8 by lawyers in California with the Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two separate same-sex marriage cases in late March.
Arguments on Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, are scheduled to be heard March 26, while arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions, will be heard the following day.
“I’m very hopeful that the court will move us forward in our work to end marriage discrimination, but that’s something we can’t control,” Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, told GA Voice.
At issue in the DOMA case is the law’s Section 3, which has been found unconstitutional eight times by federal courts on issues including bankruptcy, public health benefits, estate taxes and immigration.