The U.S. Supreme Court is set to tackle gay marriage in a matter of months, but legislative action this week in Rhode Island and Illinois shows that supporters aren’t in wait-and-see mode.
Buoyed by ballot victories in four states in November, they’re now on the offensive in two more; wins would mean that more than 20 percent of Americans live in places that have approved same-sex marriage.
Opponents are pushing back hard to make sure that doesn’t happen, even as they express confidence that the nation’s high court will rule in their favor when it weighs in on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
“Everyone is looking at the Supreme Court. What happens then defines a lot of more about what happens next in the fight,” said Bill Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.”
“We’re gonna win that and then there’s going to be a state-by-state fight, and our record on that is amazing.”
The scope of any Supreme Court decision is far from clear. They could rule that every American is entitled to the right to same-sex marriage or they could allow states to keep bans on gay marriage or they could do something in between.
In the meantime, gay-marriage advocates are pressing the issue at the state level. In addition to Rhode Island and Illinois, lawmakers in Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island reportedly could consider the issue later this year.