In New Orleans tomorrow, lawyers will make cases for and against the clear right of LGBT people to marry in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. A decision would come around June. After 2015’s full week, 36 states plus D.C. now allow same-sex marriage — most through legal challenges — representing over 70 percent of American citizens.
Breaking down the door on these three states, reviled nationally for their civil rights records, would be a serious step. It would also be a timely one; on Tuesday, a federal court legalized same-sex marriage in Florida by refusing to extend a stay. That was a long battle in a state that, like the three considered tomorrow in New Orleans, had instituted constitutional bans.
Also tomorrow, the nine Supreme Court justices will discuss privately whether to act on a handful of cases that would result in a nationwide rule on same-sex marriage. If that Supreme Court decision is going to happen, this is the year. Otherwise, it’s more than likely the country will adopt same-sex marriage through the circuit courts.
“It’s an incredible confluence of events,” Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the Washington Post about the hearings tomorrow. “It’s the culmination of many years of work.”
In Texas, a plurality 48 percent of residents support same-sex marriage. Most people would guess it’s lower. Of course, even if 0 percent of Texans were on the right side of history, LGBT people would have the same exact right to marry.
Check out this Texas TV ad by Freedom to Marry featuring “a Fort Worth, Texas police officer named Chris Gorrie, who wants to eventually marry his partner, Justin.” Something to share with any one in your Facebook feed who needs it.