March 12, 2013 at 6:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Rallies planned at Supreme Court
Supreme Court, gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, Proposition 8, Defense of Marriage Act,

The Supreme Court (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Thousands of same-sex marriage supporters are expected to attend a March 26 rally at the U.S. Supreme Court as justices hear oral arguments on a case that challenges the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Marriage Equality USA, the Family Equality Council, the New Organizing Institute, GetEqual and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation are among the groups that will organize the event under the United for Marriage banner. The Washington Blade has learned Republican supporters of nuptials for gays and lesbians, servicemembers and civil rights leaders are among those who are scheduled to speak at a rally.

HRC spokesperson Kevin Nix could not immediately provide a list of confirmed speakers.

“Extending marriage equality to all loving and committed couples is central to celebrating the worth and dignity of all God’s children,” said Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “People of Faith from every religious tradition have been involved in supporting equal marriage rights for LGBT families because of their belief and practice. To love, to commit to another, to form a family — these are the cornerstones of marriage and people of faith are bold supporters of marriage equality.”

A smaller rally is scheduled to take place at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27 as the justices hear oral arguments in the case that challenges the Defense of Marriage Act. The National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council and other groups opposed to same-sex marriage are scheduled to hold their own event on March 26.

Dozens of other gatherings in support of nuptials for same-sex couples are scheduled to take place across the country as the justices consider Prop 8 and DOMA. These include a Palm Sunday prayer service at Christ Congregational Church in Silver Spring, Md., and a vigil at the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va.

“It’s vital to us that there’s a clear way for folks from Mississippi to Montana to be able to connect with this ‘movement moment’ in their own communities — both as a way to feel camaraderie with those gathering in D.C. and also to serve as a voice for equality in their own town,” Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEqual, said. “It’s clear from this national response that there is a powerful movement for LGBT equality growing and building across the country.”

“It’s inspiring to see our community come together with so much enthusiasm,” Sean Carlson of the Family Equality Council added. “I’m getting married myself in May, so I’m touched by the energy and good will of the groups involved. The nation is ready for marriage equality, and we’re going to demonstrate that outside the Supreme Court and in hundreds of communities all over the country.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • I can't wait to be in DC for SCOTUS oral arguments, rallying with marriage equality supporters, men and women, EQUALITY 2013~.

  • I’ll be there facing-off against the forces of the truly evil “family” organizations fronting as caring, loving non-profits.

    The time has come for same-sex marriage rights to become the law of the land. Striking down Prop. 8 and DOMA are the first major/significant steps toward that end (after state marriage laws).

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