USA: Defense of Marriage Act/Prop 8 Update 3/4/13

Written by scott on March 4th, 2013

US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court was swamped with briefs on the Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases this last week, as Karen Ocamb at the Bilerico Project reports:

Such an overwhelming flurry of amicus briefs (read Lambda Legal’s brief here, Equality California brief here and the American Sociological Association brief here) supporting the constitutional challenge to Prop 8 swamped the Supreme Court before the Feb. 28 filing deadline – including one from the Obama Administration (read Justice Department brief here or below; see and read President Obama comments on the filing below) – many LGBT political observers had little time to stop gasping and rejoice. A new Field Poll released Feb. 27 indicates that 61 percent of registered California voters of all ages, regions and ethnic backgrounds now approve of same-sex marriage, while only 32 percent disapprove – lead by Republicans and political conservatives. But Republican support for marriage equality has also increased – from 26 percent in 2010 to 39 percent today.

The article has a great rundown of some of the most important briefs filed in support of overturning both DOMA and Prop 8.

Over at Seacoast Online, David G. Savage believes recent shifts in public opinion, especially in California, could sway the court, especially Kennedy:


Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights. Kennedy has been a strong, steady proponent of constitutional principles such as free speech, individual liberty and limits on government power. But before signing on to major changes — abolishing the death penalty for young murderers, for example — he has wanted to feel comfortable that the change was in line with public opinion and the trend in the law. “Among all the justices, he is most concerned about public opinion,” New York University law professor Barry Friedman said of Kennedy. “The more there is a groundswell of support for gay marriage, the more it is likely he will vote to support it.”

And reminds us about the various rallies planned for the days of the Supreme Court hearings:

Lots of activities going on in D.C. and across the country in just a few weeks when the Supreme Court takes up the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. A coalition of groups will be organizing local actions across the country (find or organize one HERE) and in Washington D.C. there will be rallies on March 26 and 27.

Hit the link to see more details; we’re also working to add these events to our own calendar.


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