GLAAD is on the ground in Washington DC all day today, as marriage equality supporters (and opponents) are gathered, and as the United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments in cases that will decide the future of Prop. 8 and DOMA. Find out more at www.glaad.org/marriage.
We spoke with three of the most influential figures in the movement for marriage equality, all of whom were in the courtroom when arguments were heard.
Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry:
"I understand peoples' desires to tea-leaf-read and analyze, I think this argument was very engaged, lots of questions flying, certainly they were grappling with the merits, grappling with standing, grappling with the various options, and the reality is, we're going to have to see what they do. Meantime, what we need to be doing is winning more states and growing the majority because that's what's going to deliver the victory, whether in June or afterwards."
Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal:
"Ten years ago today, we argued Lawrence V. Texas, and we've come so far, and I feel like the judges have a very different understanding of who lesbian and gay people are, and what our families look like. I was very encouraged by Justice Kennedy talking about how children of same-sex couples are harmed, and want to be able to have their parents get married. The focus on children, I think, is very important because the other side is talking about kids all the time. And he (Kennedy) understood that the people that are being harmed here are the families of same-sex couples."
"Chuck Cooper for the proponents made a devastating admission. Justice Sotomayor asked him if he could think of any justification for discrimination based on sexual orientation in any context other than marriage - for example, employment or benefits - and he said he could not."
Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR):
(On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being depressed and 10 being ecstatic when you walked out of that room?) "Twelve, at the fact that I was even here and that I get to be a part of history and how privleged and lucky to be here. And nine, in terms of where I feel like we're going to end up, in terms of the fate of Prop. 8."
"I think there are justices who want to go on record and say 'to extend a right to couples as happened in the state of California, and then to eliminate that at the ballot box, is a quintessential violation of equal protection of the laws.'"