Socially loud! Can you hear us?


Supreme Court to Take on Same Sex Marriage

The battle over gay marriage is shifting from the voting booth to the nation’s highest court. The Supreme Court entered the contentious debate on Friday when it agreed to review California's voter-approved ban on same-sex unions.

The announcement comes as the national climate on marriage equality is rapidly changing. It was only one month ago that voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington made the historic decision to approve marriage equality bills passed by their legislatures. This followed President Barack Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality last May.

“I am hopeful [this] decision will move California and this nation one step closer to truly standing for equal rights for all,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) in a statement to “As a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I have repeatedly spoken against the effort to ban same-sex marriage.”

The Proposition 8 challenge is Hollinsgworth v Perry. The court will also hear a challenge to Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act, often referred to as “DOMA.” Section Three prohibits federal recognition of legally married same-sex couples and denies more than 1,000 benefits, such as Social Security, pension benefits and preferential tax treatment.  Other sections define marriage as between “one man and woman” and allow states not to recognize legally valid same-sex marriages from other states. Those provisions are not being challenged—yet.

The court will also review challenges to affirmative action in hearing education and a key section of the Voting Rights Act. Decisions in all of these cases are expected by June.

“It’s going to be an important term,” says Darryl Moore, a member of the Berkeley City Council and chairman of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading civil rights group for the Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“My partner and I were able to get married before Prop 8 was passed, but [we] want everyone else in California to be able to have that opportunity,” said Moore.


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.