Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT advocate, on
Thursday pledged to “bring marriage equality to all 50 states”
within five years.
Speaking at the Utah Pride Center in
Salt Lake City the day after the Supreme Court released two historic
rulings related to gay marriage, Griffin said that the cases created
the foundation to remove dozens of state marriage bans.
The high court decisions mean that
California will become the 13th state, plus the District
of Columbia, to allow gay nuptials, and that the federal government
must recognize those unions.
Griffin, who previously led the
American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group formed
specifically to challenge Proposition 8, California's marriage ban,
said that he traveled to Utah because “we can't tolerate the
persistence of two Americas when it comes to equality.”
“In the other America, in the 37
states without marriage equality, like my home state of Arkansas, or
right here in Utah, even the most basic statewide legal protections
are nonexistent. Within five years, we will bring marriage equality
to all 50 of our states, yes, right here in the state of Utah,”
Griffin was joined at the press
conference by officials from the Utah Pride Center, the ACLU of Utah,
Equality Utah and openly gay philanthropist Bruce Bastian.