All posts edited by Madeline Ricchiuto.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

US Marriage Equality: Getting Support from All Sides

In case you, my valued reader, were not aware the US is on the verge of having a major step taken in the battle for marriage equality. While it is no sure thing, with all the recent reports of whats been happening there's seems to be an atmosphere thats well prepared for a step forward.

Today has presented the world with a truly great thing. Today President Barack Obama filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court regarding the case for marriage equality and Proposition 8. In case you didn't know the specifics, Prop 8 was a ballot measure in California that removed the (already judicially given) right to marry a person of the same sex. The measure was challenged and struck in all the lower courts and has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is not only considering Prop 8 regarding marriage equality though. There have been many cases brought up throughout the country surrounding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a piece of legislation signed when Clinton was in office, that prohibits federal recognition of same sex partnerships as marriages and the subsequent rights that entail from such a status.

This amicus brief is the latest in a long string of events that seem to imply an unexpected level of support for the striking of both laws mentioned above. Last week the Department of Justice filed an amicus stating that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional as it doesn't grant equal protection to same sex couples who are legally married.

Earlier this week more than 100 Republicans signed and amicus brief in support of legalizing the right to marry someone of the same sex. That is a HUGE statement on the part of Republicans.

In addition to this mere hours hours before Obama's amicus was filed 13 states also filed an amicus brief outlining their support for marriage equality with possibly more filing tomorrow. This list includes: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and even the District of Columbia. And supposedly the Department of Justice plans on submitting a brief just before the deadline, late Thursday.

All of this good news culminates in President Obama's own brief being filed. This is big not only because he is the first President to openly support marriage equality but he also was a professor in Constitutional law which implies that he knows what he is talking about when he files these kinds of things.

Apparently the brief does not directly call for marriage across the whole United States, but does urge the court in that direction. It is reported that if the court were to take the position of the brief that the result could be seven states, other than California, having marriage equality. These states would be Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island. This brief is also the latest development in Obama's own political journey towards support for marriage equality.

All of these wonderful things are in addition to the fact that as of last November 53 percent of Americans felt that marriage equality should be legalized. A large change since 2008 when 56 percent were against such a measure.

It seems marriage equality is truly on the horizon.

You can read more about some of this here.

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