As Supreme Court Considers 2 Landmark Same Sex Marriage Cases, LGBT Activists Consider Their Response

This week’s edition of Between the Lines will feature an interview with Thalia Zepatos, director of public engagement with Freedom to Marry, conducted by Scott Harris.

In two landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the future of same-sex marriage hangs in the balance. Although the high court rulings in these cases will determine the shape of marriage law in the U.S. in the short term, it seems inevitable that with the dramatic shift in Americans’ attitudes moving toward approval of gay marriage, the nation will eventually realize full marriage equality.

The first of two cases under consideration involved a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage that was approved by voters in 2008, overturning a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage handed down earlier by California’s Supreme Court. The second case heard by the justices contests the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, banning federal recognition of same sex marriage and effectively denying tax, Social Security and other ordinary benefits to gay couples.

Many legal observers who assessed the justices interaction with, and questions to attorneys in the two cases, predicted the court’s rulings, expected this June, would likely usher in incremental change, rather than a broad decision mandating the legalization of marriage equality in all 50 states. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Thalia Zepatos, director of public engagement with the group Freedom to Marry, who examines the historic nature and possible outcomes of the same sex marriage cases now before the Supreme Court.

More information about the ongoing campaign of the marriage equality movement can be found at Freedom to Marry’s website at

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