Let’s say you won the Super Bowl of gay marriage lawsuits, and got the federal Defense of Marriage Act overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. What would you do next? (Aside from celebrate, of course.)
Well, obviously, you would turn your attention to overturning a marriage ban in the most antigay state in the country: Mississippi.
In 2009, nerdy heartthrob Nate Silver predicted that Mississippi would be the last state with a majority in support of marriage equality. (Target date: 2024.) But hero lawyer Robbie Kaplan isn’t waiting for another decade. She’s taking the state to federal court, and that’s a big big deal. If anyone has a shot at getting that state’s ban struck down, it’s her.
We have Kaplan (and also her client, Edie Windsor, and a huge team of legal professionals) to thank for the dozens of victories for marriage that we’ve seen in the last year and a half. After Kaplan & Company vanquished DOMA, state and federal courts suddenly had a ton of ammunition for striking down marriage bans. That DOMA ruling basically provided a road map for winning full national marriage equality.
And now she’s going head-to-head with lawyers from a state where only 22 percent of voters support the freedom to marry. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of legal talent, and luckily enough she has both. Last week, a court in Mississippi heard oral argument, and Kaplan ran circles around anti-gay state lawyers. The court will issue a ruling any day now, and then the case moves on to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it’ll join two contentious lawsuits from Louisiana and Texas. (You might remember that Louisiana case from a few weeks ago — it was the first federal case in which a marriage ban was upheld since the DOMA decision.)
Once the Fifth Circuit rules, it’s on to the U.S. Supreme Court. So Kaplan could wind up back in DC, arguing once again for our rights.
“After Kaplan & Company vanquished DOMA, state and federal courts suddenly had a ton of ammunition for striking down marriage bans. That DOMA ruling basically provided a road map for winning full national marriage equality.”
That was the ruling that did it, DESPITE HRC’s multiple attempts to erase the memory of the Windsor decision and instead claim that their new leader Chad Griffin (Whom they are paying nearly double the money their last head made) was responsible for all the marriage victories, even though he was merely a publicist on the Prop 8 case and had nothing to do with the Windsor case which is where all the marriage decisions have come down from.
Good Luck to Ms. Kaplan! Thank you for continuing the good fight even though the nations largest group that “Supposedly” is concerned with gay rights continues to try to erase and rewrite you and Eddie Windsor out of gay rights history.
“And now she’s going head-to-head with lawyers from a state where only 22 percent of voters support the freedom to marry.”
Not to mention that only 22% of the population wear shoes and brush their “tooth.” (Mucho snark!) These small southern States will soon catch on that the future is here and they cannot escape it!
@Cam: Well said!
Not to rush to Nate Silver’s defense, but just because a court strikes down the ban, does not mean that a majority of people in Mississippi will support same sex marriage, it will just mean the Constitution is more important than the tyranny of the majority.
So, I’m still betting on Nate’s prediction, although actually have marriage equality might speed up the process of acceptance some.
@Dakotahgeo: Who needs more than one toofus when you marry your sister…while cornholing your brother?
Who cares what Mississippi voters “want” if it is unconstitutional. There would probably still be slavery in Mississippi if it were left to the will of the voters. THANK YOU ROBBIE KAPLAN and more power to you.
The article states she ran circles around anti-gay attorneys. That is because they only have sound bites and nothing legally substantial:
(1) The will of the people, also referred to as “mob rule” in situations where the “will” runs against constitutionality.
(2) Harms traditional marriages and families: HOW?
(3) Gays can’t procreate: Marriage has never been predicated on procreation in the history of this nation.
(4) It will harm children. This has been disproved as studies are now showing children of same-sex couples fare just as well or better than their peers with heterosexual parents.
Great. Gay people in Miss. will be able to marry and live homeless and broke together. The poorest state in the country has no laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment. Same in 28 other states. I’ve lived 57 without marrying; I don’t think I could manage without a job or a home.
@bjohnmasters: “it will just mean the Constitution is more important than the tyranny of the majority.” what majority are you talking about? The last mid-term election saw 37% voter turn-out. Lets just say that 60% of those voted republican. That means that our government is run by under 20% of the population. That’s the definition of the minority controlling the majority. That is why republicans want to restrict voting as much as possible. That is the only way they can win elections. That is why it is so important to get out and vote.
Yes, Harley, Gerry Mander for President! I can’t stand how the Republicans cheat so much. I can’t stand how we let them get away with cheating so much.
Robbie Kaplan, we owe you so much. Please know how much I appreciate what you have done.
@jwtraveler: said… “I’ve lived 57 without marrying; I don’t think I could manage without a job or a home.”
Yes, but the justification for maintaining the legality of not having protections for work and housing is the very fact that the Federal govt. doesn’t have a federal protection for marriage.
i.e. when the landlord is in court their defense is “Why can’t I discriminate when the Federal govt. discriminates?”
So even though you don’t think it effects you, it does.
Comments are closed.