Groups which advocate for gay rights
are preparing for the release of two Supreme Court rulings related to
The high court in March heard oral
arguments in cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, and
Proposition 8, a voter-approved amendment to the California
constitution which limits marriage to heterosexual unions.
While the court could release the
opinions at any moment, most court watchers believe it will hold off
until the end of this year's session, on June 26 or 27.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, has already launched an online
media hub dedicated to the cases. The group's Stand
for Marriage page features background case information, possible
court outcomes and a social media campaign.
The American Foundation for Equal
Rights (AFER), which formed to file and support the Proposition 8
case, is promoting its Decision Day event, which is set to take place
in Los Angeles at 5:30PM on the day the court rules.
“The day the court rules, we'll
gather together in West Hollywood to hear from gay and lesbian
couples, the attorneys who worked on the case, elected officials,
community leaders and more,” the group said in a
If marriage equality is restored in
California, it is likely to take about a month before weddings could
resume, because rulings are not final until after a mandatory 25-day
appeal window has lapsed.
Some gay couples in California are
nevertheless forging ahead with wedding plans, such as Thom Watson,
50, and Jeff Tabaco, 36, of Daly City. In 2009, the couple
celebrated with a commitment ceremony, and decided against marrying
in another state.
“California is our home, so we want
to be able to marry here,” Watson
told the AP. “That was the reason after Prop 8 passed we
decided to have a commitment ceremony. It was sort of like, we are
not going to let this dissuade us from making that public commitment
to each other, but we are definitely looking for that next step.”