Same-Sex Marriage Legal Across All 50 States By 2018, Vow LGBT Groups
by DAVID BADASH on JUNE 27, 2013
LGBT organizations are promising to make same-sex marriage legal across all 50 U.S. states by 2018. “Within five years, we will bring marriage equality to all 50 states,” vowed HRC president Chad Griffin to the crowd outside the Supreme Court just after the historic marriage rulings were announced yesterday, the L.A. Times reports, calling it “a five-year campaign to strike down the laws in the remaining states that prohibit such unions.”
“Achieving that goal would require a return trip to the high court,” the Times adds. “First, however, the campaign will unfold in legislatures and ballot initiatives, said Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom to Marry and a leading strategist in the marriage-equality campaign. Gay-rights groups hope that if enough states adopt laws allowing same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court will be willing to overturn the remaining statutes, much as it did in 1967 when it struck down laws that banned interracial marriages.”
Wolfson, known as the father of the modern-day marriage equality movement, in a statement via email to The New Civil Rights Movement announced the re-introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act in both the House and the Senate.
The bills, introduced again Wednesday by two Democrats — Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California — “would repeal the entirety of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and assure all married couples equal treatment for all federal programs and purposes,” Wolfson’s group noted.
“With today’s decisive Supreme Court ruling applying constitutional command of equal protection to overturn a central part of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’ Congress should move immediately to end federal marriage discrimination once and for all,” Wolfson announced. “Freedom to Marry applauds the sponsors and record numbers of supporters in both the House and Senate, and calls on Congress to get DOMA off the books and make clear that, while the federal government doesn’t tell states what to do, it must respect and protect all married couples throughout the U.S. As the Supreme Court today reaffirmed, in America we don’t have second-class citizens, and we shouldn’t have second-class marriages, either.”
Freedom To Marry notes the bills have “record support,” adding, “we’ve grown support for the legislation on Capitol Hill from 18 Senators and 108 Representatives at the time of the bill’s introduction in 2011 to 41 Senators and 161 Representatives today.”
Right now, we can expect the marriage campaigns to immediately continue in Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, and New Mexico — for starters.