Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover

Yet more on marriage equality

Filed By Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover | March 05, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: DOMA, eQualityGiving, GLAD, marraige equality, Rhode Island marriage

Today, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether Proposition 8 should be overturned and whether the marriages of 18,000 same-sex couples that occurred last year in California are still valid. This critical ruling can come any time in the next 90 days.

In this important date, we would like to offer three perspectives about work going on about marriage equality (and we fully acknowledge that there are other issues, beyond marriage, that are important to the LGBT community).

  1. Where are we on marriage equality? Are we in a standstill given the defeats in the ballot box last November? Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry and a well-respected strategist for marriage equality, actually believes that we are in a New Era. He predicts that three or four states will pass marriage equality through their legislatures in 2009. You can read more about Evan Wolfson's perspective on the future of marriage equality.
  2. There has been lots of controversy about GLAD litigating DOMA at Bilerico and elsewhere, but it is worth reading the actual thoughts of the team litigating the case as well as the realities of couples who are married but the federal government refuses to recognize it. If you want to read the perspective of the GLAD Legal Team litigating DOMA, as well as the background of one of the couples involved, this is a good article.
  3. There is an interesting perspective from a gay man, Frank Ferri, who because of his interest in marriage equality, campaigned and won a seat in the Rhode Island legislature. You can read his perspective and strategy to achieve marriage equality in Rhode Island.

We hope that you find these perspectives useful.

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Wow. Ferri's story should be mailed to every politician who thinks supporting marriage equality will cost him or her an election.

I was disappointed that the article on GLAD's suit didn't address any of the criticism bloggers have leveled - how it's going to play outside of New England. I'm hoping they have a better argument than the closing line of the profile - "It's just not fair."

Dana --- I agree that the Ferri article is very important and should be distributed broadly: http://www.equalitygiving.org/Marriage-Equality-Rhode-Island-Frank-Ferri

Bil --- GLAD has been working on the DOMA strategy for a long time and they talked to lots of people. I think they talked to me about it about a year ago or so and thereafter we talked on other occasions. I also discussed it in person with Mary Bonauto, their lead attorney.

There are a lot of variables to consider before filing such a lawsuit. It was clear to them that they would not file until the outcome of the election was known. They were (and are) very aware of potential pushbacks. It is a bold move and, like most--if not all--bold moves, it is risky.

I personally think very highly of GLAD and their success in the courts proves beyond question their capability. Certainly, we all need to continue working to minimize pushbacks that this litigation and other actions the movement is taking may create. I have total confidence in GLAD and I want them to succeed because the implications of getting federal benefits will be huge for our community---independently of where you live.