‘People’s Brief’ to be submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States
The Human Rights Campaign announced yesterday that its “People’s Brief” — an amicus (or ‘friend of the court’) brief will be filed with the Supreme Court on Friday (March 6, 2015) in advance of its forthcoming hearings on marriage equality. The brief, authored by DOMA lawyer Roberta Kaplan, has been signed by 207,551 supporters in all 50 states, including yours truly.
The HRC statement says:
Signatories on the brief include LGBT citizens, family members and friends of LGBT individuals, and other fair-minded Americans who believe that the U.S. Constitution guarantees marriage equality for all, regardless of their sexual orientation. Notably, more than 28,000 people signed The People’s Brief who live in one of the four Sixth Circuit states (Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky) where gay couples cannot currently marry and where cases are currently pending before the Supreme Court. Additionally, nearly 20,000 signatures – or about ten percent of the total number of signatories – came from the state of Texas alone, where the fight for marriage equality continues as well. Not surprisingly, there were also relatively large numbers of signatories from other states such as Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi where gay couples currently are not allowed to get married.
“The People’s Brief is yet further proof that the time is right for the Supreme Court to recognize the simple proposition that all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, and regardless of the state in which they live, are entitled to be treated the same under the law, including with respect to the right to marry the person who they love,” said lead counsel on the brief, Roberta Kaplan.
Edie Windsor, the trailblazing plaintiff at the heart of the Windsor case that defeated DOMA in 2013, was the first person to sign The People’s Brief. “I have said that the word marriage is a magic word – and it should be available to every person,” said Edie Windsor. “I’m so proud that more than 200,000 Americans joined me in signing the People’s Brief, urging the Supreme Court to allow every person to marry the person they love and to live openly and with dignity.”
In late April, the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments for the cases challenging marriage bans; meanwhile, states, like Nebraska, continue to add themselves to the growing ‘wait list’ of states where marriage bans have been overturned but are on stay pending appeal.
In Alabama, however, the controversial Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, continues to lead a defiant struggle against the U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow the Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to stand by refusing the stay, and recently asked probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses.
Grab your popcorn, people! The willful confusion defiance of state officials, and, as the Washington Post refers to it — “the standoff” — is likely to continue through April and into June when we expect the Supreme Court to resolve the issue of national marriage.
Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com