People have started gathering at the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) building to gain one of the 50 spots inside chambers on Tuesday, April 28 for the hearing before the highest court in the land on same gender marriage. The decision from the case, expected at the end of June, could determine if Nevada same gender couples will continue to have the right to marry because a federal court ruling changed the law.
SCOTUS will hear appealed cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee (The US 6th District Court of Appeals who upheld the legality of same gender marriage bans) to determine the answers to two questions. First, does the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution require states to license marriage between two people of the same gender? Secondly, does the 14th amendment require states to recognize marriage between two people performed in another state but are residents of a state where same gender marriage is not recognized?
ABC News and Business Insider have reported the answer to those questions could be no and yes. Business Insider reports that swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy could weigh heavily in the decision. The Justice is a proponent of states rights and gay rights. States have the right to set their own marriage laws (a state right). Justice Kennedy might consider it a compromise. But the outcome will not be until SCOTUS issues its opinion. Many insiders feel that the court will rule in favor of marriage equality making it the law of the land in all 50 states and territories.
If the court rules, states do not have to issue marriage licenses to same gender couples any court overturned ban on same gender marriage would revert back to being banned. That would include Nevada (ban overturned in October 2014 by decision of the US 9th District Court of Appeals) returning to the definition found in the state’s constitution, which defines marriage as “between a man and a women”. However if SCOTUS rules that states must recognize same gender marriages from other states, The second part of the constitutional language in Nevada would be null and void, which states “shall be recognized and given effect in this state” (meaning between a man and women)(Article 1 section 121). Nevada who support same gender marriage are hoping for the Court to rule yes to both questions.
Reno is planning a Marriage Equality rally on Tuesday evening, April 28 at 7pm in Reno City Plaza (across for City Hall the old Mapes Hotel site). This will mark the fourth rally sponsored by Build Our Center, a local group working to build, strength and connect the community and re-establish a GLBT community Center . The rally will feature several speakers and the march up North Virginia Street (the city’s main street) to the famous iconic Reno Arch.
Meanwhile in Washington,DC . . . .
Former Reno resident Eddie Rey, a longtime gay rights activist, is patiently waiting his turn to enter the chambers to hear the arguments for and against same gender marriage at the Supreme Court. Rey was spot number 38 in line out of 50. He is camping out in front of the SCOTUS building until Tuesday.
Therenogaypage has also received word from several readers that they plan to be in Washington DC on Tuesday in support of marriage equality. They have all said they want to be part of history.
Saturday in the nation’s capital anti-marriage equality supporters rallied. A report from AFP (Agence France-Presse, a French news agency) reported several thousand people partook in the protest against same gender marriage equality. Among the protestors were numerous members of the clergy including the Head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Joseph Katz (Louisville, KY). AFP also reported several Protestant and one Orthodox religious leader present along with a large Hispanic contingent.
“We will not be silenced… we are not alone,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the crowd to cheers.
Archbishop Kurtz statement seems to place his supporters in the minority as a recently poll on Marriage Equality shows 61% of Americans now favor same gender marriage. The Washington Post-ABC News most recent poll shows 35% opposed and 4% undecided. Since 2005, the poll shows acceptance of same gender marriage is now at 78% amongst those 30 and under and has grown from 18% to 46% for those 65 and older. Six out of 10 Republicans still are opposed to same gender marriage.
Missing from this year’s March Against Marriage Equality was the controversial Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvadore Cordileone, who did not attend saying he needed to tend to pastoral duties. He spoke last year at the march amidst criticism from the San Francisco gay community and has been under strong criticism from church members. A group has even called on Pope Francis to remove the Archbishop. Archbishop Cordileone led the catholic charge to pass Proposition 8 in California.