The U.S. Supreme Court will issue rulings Wednesday in two marriage equality cases, California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced after three rulings Tuesday morning that the court would meet for its final day Wednesday at 9 a.m. CST to read its last three decisions. Wednesday is the 10th anniversary of when the court ruled that sodomy laws nationwide were unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas.
Dallas’ LGBT community and allies will celebrate the marriage rulings at a Day of Decision rally Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Legacy of Love monument.
Roberts read the court’s ruling Tuesday in the Voting Rights Act case, Shelby County v. Holder, striking down a central part of the act, which LGBT advocates say is a step backwards in eliminating discrimination at the polls. The decision reduces the federal government’s role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of racial discrimination.
“These varied and powerful voices attest to the self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year’s elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color,” read a joint statement from numerous LGBT groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal.
“Voting rights protections, which have long served our nation’s commitment to equality and justice, should not be cast aside now. The court has done America a grave disservice, and we will work with our coalition partners to undo the damage inflicted by this retrogressive ruling.”
As for the marriage cases, justices are expected to rule narrowly. In Hollingsworth v. Perry’s challenge of California’s constitutional marriage amendment, the ruling could just affect that state, greatly increasing the number of the country’s population that lives in marriage-equality states. Most legal experts don’t expect the court to strike Prop 8 and find all marriage amendments unconstitutional in the 37 states that have such bans, as it did with sodomy laws in Lawrence.