It's been a week with a couple of setbacks. The Alabama Supreme Court ordered the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, creating legal chaos in the state. And the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of the Nebraska ruling that would have allowed same-sex couples the freedom to marry beginning this coming Monday. Now, an appeal of the Nebraska case will be heard in May. These are most likely temporary delays, but for some families, waiting is not a luxury they have.
Today, however, there is some good news for the larger marriage equality picture.
The Obama administration / U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that state bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional. The brief calls for nationwide marriage equality.
The brief reads, in part:
“These facially discriminatory laws impose concrete harms on same-sex couples and send the inescapable message that same-sex couples and their children are second-class families, unworthy of the recognition and benefits that opposite-sex couples take for granted. The bans cannot be reconciled with the fundamental constitutional guarantee of ‘equal protection of the laws.'”
Read more, including a link to the entire DOJ brief here.
In addition, a host of other groups filed pro-equality amicus briefs today, including a group of Congressional Democrats, a group made up of over 300 major businesses and corporations, and a group of pro-equality Republicans.
All of these groups are on the right side of history and add momentum as we head towards a definitive Supreme Court decision, the kind of momentum that helps us through the occasional setbacks.