First off, Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post reviews the increase in states that recognize marriage equality over the years:
The above chart puts it all into perspective. In 1996, no state allowed same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Still, 5 percent of the population lived in a city or county that had domestic partnerships that year. But the percentage of U.S. population living in jurisdictions with full marriage equality jumped to 18.3 this year. And 23.3 percent are living in jurisdictions with all the rights and responsibilities of marriage without the name.
Over at Towleroad.com, Ari Ezra Waldman has some things to watch for in the upcoming decisions, including:
1. Standing and Jurisdiction: Are the cases properly before the Court? Remember, the question in the Prop 8 case is whether the California citizens who wrote Prop 8 (the “proponents”) had standing to appeal Judge Walker’s original ruling declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. The questions in the DOMA case are (a) whether Edie Windsor, having won at the Second Circuit, can both win and appeal, and (b) whether House Republicans are properly taking the role of defending DOMA. If the answer to any of those questions is NO, then the cases get tossed and the Court doesn’t have to rule on anything substantive. We still win, sort of.
Our foes are chiming in too. Joe.My.God reports on the Manhattan Declaration’s statement:
Should the Supreme Court affirm the meaning and purpose of marriage, we will breathe a sigh of relief. But we won’t be satisfied. If the Supreme Court rejects the time-honored purpose of marriage, it will be because the court — like many of our friends, neighbors and colleagues — has lost the meaning of marriage and its civic importance. We will have no one to blame but ourselves. It will be our fault for failing to nurture and protect marriage, for looking the other way as rampant divorce, infidelity and sexual impurity chipped away at our moral authority. It took generations to erode marriage and family, with disastrous consequences. Restoration may take just as long.
And Joe also has a statement from the National Organization for Marriage:
“If the Supreme Court manufactures a right to same-sex marriage out of the Constitution, then the remedy would be a constitutional amendment. I don’t think it’s going to be necessary because I don’t think the Supreme Court’s foolish enough to go there. They recognize what harm they’ve caused to our body politic when they did something similar to that in 1973 (Roe v Wade) and that issue still infects our politics. You can’t run for dogcatcher in this country without that issue being part of the campaign. I think over time — even if there is a bad decision in California — that could also be overturned in the light of new evidence, in the light of new findings as to what the impacts of redefining marriage are on marriage rates and on parenting, and outcomes for children. … There would be reasons to reform marriage laws.”
So basically, “even if we lose, we’ll still win.” Nice try.
And finally, Mark Segal at the Bilerico Project looks ahead past the rulings:
So a victory of any sort at the Supreme Court is not the end of the fight; it’s just one battle that was started over 40 years ago when the Reverend Troy Perry and Metropolitan Community Church applied for “same-sex marriage licenses around the nation.” Take a look at how much work still will need to be done by just looking at Perry’s actions. Two of the states where his church members applied for marriage licenses were California and Utah. We all know that California will shortly have marriage (with or without the Supreme Court) but… Utah? That is a place that will need lots of work – read: education.
How broadly will the court rule? We may know in half an hour…