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Supporters of gay marriage confident of victory in Supreme Court

December 7, 2012 |  1:27 pm

MAP: How gay marriage has progressed in the U.S.

Gay marriage backers said they were confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that same-sex unions are legal and expressed excitement at the high court's decision to take up Prop. 8.

“I am hopeful and encouraged about today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Proposition 8 case, which is one of the most significant equal rights issues to come before the court in many decades,” said California State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). “For the past four years we have argued that Proposition 8 is not only unconstitutional, but that it also violates the basic principles of respect, dignity and validation that every American deserves.

"I am confident that the Supreme Court will reaffirm these fundamental freedoms and uphold that a person’s right to be treated equally does not vanish simply because of who they are or whom they love," Leno added in his statement.

MAP: How gay marriage has progressed in the U.S.

Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of Courage Campaign, noted that other states have already made gay marriage legal.

"Last month, voters from Maine to Washington stood up for equality," he said in a statement. "Now it's time for the Supreme Court to catch up with the American public. Discrimination and hatred have no place in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality."

The court's decision means that the fate of Proposition 8 remains in limbo for now. By agreeing to review Hollingsworth vs. Perry, the justices could hand gay rights advocates a historic victory and legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Q&A: Prop. 8, gay marriage and the Supreme Court

But activists are well aware that the court could rule against them and set the movement back at a time when same-sex marriage has seen a series of election victories at the state level. Opponents of gay marriage, by contrast, have been eager for the Supreme Court to weigh in and are hoping it will block the growing legalization of same-sex unions.

“We are delighted that the nation’s highest court will decide whether to uphold the will of more than 7 million Californians who voted to preserve the unique definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman,” said Andy Pugno, general counsel for Protect Marriage.com, which is fighting to preserve Proposition 8.

California briefly allowed same-sex marriages in 2008, per a decision by the California Supreme Court. Thousands of couples wed before voters that year passed the gay marriage ban. In 2009, the American Foundation for Equal Rights sued on behalf of two gay California couples who wanted to get married. After a district judge and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found Proposition 8 unconstitutional, the measure's supporters asked the Supreme Court to review the case.


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Photo: Eduardo Cisneros and Luke Montgomery kiss in front of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hollywood in August. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images