Excitement is mounting in the days leading up to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the constitutional challenges to Prop. 8 and DOMA. The court will release the audio recordings of the hearings on the same day. But the national United for Marriage Coalition has helped organize over 150 events in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for March 26-27 when the arguments are being heard by the high court.
In Los Angeles, for those who cannot travel to D.C., there will be a candlelight vigil on Sunday, March 24, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles City Hall, West Steps on Temple and Spring streets.
Speakers will include lesbian and gay families who could be impacted by the court's ruling on both Prop. 8 and DOMA, as well as elected officials, faith leaders, community activists and celebrities - LGBT and straight. Organizers for the LA event include Founders of the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles, California Faith for Equality, Family Equality Council, GetEQUAL, GLAAD, Good As You, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality USA, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the New Organizing Institute.
Leaders of the United for Marriage Coalition told reporters on a recent conference call that "the stakes are really high at this moment," and LGBT and straight organizations need to work together to make the point to the Supreme Court that their ruling will have an important impact. Thousands are expected to rally in Washington, D.C., in front of the U.S. Supreme Court (First and East Capitol streets NE) at 8:30 a.m. March 26, when the court takes up Prop. 8. The rally is expected to end at 11:30 a.m. According to United Marriage Coalition, some confirmed speakers include the following:
Brendon Ayanbadejo, Superbowl champion and Baltimore Ravens linebacker
Wade Henderson, president, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D, DC)
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral
Margaret Hoover, GOP strategist and political commentator
Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey, Phoenix couple together for more than 50 years
David Frum, GOP strategist and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush; political commentator
Allyson Robinson, executive director, OutServe-SLDN
Craig Stowell and his wife, Berta, former Marine and conservative Republican
Andy McNeil and Todd Bludworth, fathers to twin boy and girl
Janet Murguía, president, National Council of La Raza
Brent Wilkes, national executive director, League of United Latin American Citizens
Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation
LZ Granderson, CNN and ESPN commentator
Lt. Col. Linda Campbell, who was granted the first same-sex spousal burial in a U.S. national cemetery for her partner
Bishop Gene Robinson and his daughter, Ella Robinson
Learn more about the D.C. gathering and local events at www.unitedformarriage.org.
According to Jeremy Hooper of Good As You and NOM Exposed, the National Organization for Marriage, working in coalition with 40 other antigay groups such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and Ohio’s Citizens for Community Values are holding a two-hour rally at the Mall followed by a march then to the Supreme Court. They are trying to bus people in from churches. According to Hooper, because Tuesday, March 26 is part of Holy Week, the antigay coalition, under heavy Catholic sponsorship, are framing participation as a religious obligation. NOM is telling its supporters "If you don't do it now, you'll regret it," Hooper told reporters on a conference call. "This is the new Roe versus Wade." Hooper reported today that the Osmond family is hosting a NOM-inspired March for Marriage in Utah.
Scott Wooledge put together this graphic of the amicus briefs:
And here's HRC President Chad Griffin on MSNBC discussing what's at stake: