Event set for the eve of Supreme Court hearing to show solidarity
On Tuesday, April 28, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases that could lead to nationwide recognition of marriage equality. The day before — Monday, April 27 — numerous local LGBT advocates and organizations will gather at the Legacy of Love monument to voice their support for marriage equality and what it personally means to each of them.
A wide variety of speakers will speak in support of marriage equality, including activists, faith leaders and students. Speakers include Liz Rodriguez, co-chair of HRC DFW’s Federal Club; Daniel Scott Cates, a community activist and organizer; the Rev. Katie Hayes of Mansfield’s Galileo Church; Josh Rudner, a student and Gay Straight Alliance leader at Dallas’ Greenhill School, and the Rev. Colleen Darraugh of MCC Greater Dallas. Lamdba Legal’s Community Educator Omar Narvaez will keynote.
Rodriguez said it’s time for nationwide marriage equality. “At a young age … I was like any other girl; I imagined a dream wedding. But unfortunately, years ago, I came to terms with the fact that this dream would never happen in the state I love,” she said in a written statement. “Fast forward to present time: I am astounded at what has taken place and the progress made by so many individuals who fought before us and continue to fight with us and for us. [Their] passion, drive and determination have made marriage equality a reality for us all.”
Todd Whitley, executive director of rally co-sponsor Hope for Peace & Justice, said the local LGBT community must stand in solidarity to show support for a positive ruling by the Supreme Court.
“I can’t wait for the entire state to see images of our community coming together — gay, transgender, and straight together — to light the way for justice, not just for the freedom to marry, but also for the work that lies ahead to secure the full equality of everyone in the LGBT community,” Whitley said. “You simply cannot shut out the light from this much love.”
Rudner, the Greenhill student, said a Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality will empower his generation.
“Today’s youth will soon inherit the task of governing this country. The question before us today is how heavy that burden must be. Marriage equality today means less of a burden for the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.
According to the Williams Institute, a LGBT policy think tank at the UCLA School of Law, an estimated 350,000 same-sex couples are currently legally married in the United States. Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in United States v Windsor, which struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have allowed same-sex marriage. A total of 72 percent of Americans are living in jurisdictions that allow marriage for same-sex couples.
Texas is among the remaining 13 states where marriage equality is not recognized, though a case is currently pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A final ruling could come in June, when it is widely believed the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 24, 2015.