Human Rights Campaign's Chad Griffin outlines next steps in US gay marriage battle
'We still have a lot of work to do but the momentum is on our side'
It’s been nearly three weeks since three US states made history by passing marriage equality laws through a vote of the people.
Now Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, is looking to other US states to add to the nine where same-sex couples can get married.
"There are a number of states across the country that are looking at the issue of marriage equality,’ Griffin said Monday on MSNBC. ‘It starts on East Coast with Rhode Island and goes across the country all the way to Hawaii where state legislators and fair-minded elected officials are standing up for full equality for all of their citizens.’
In addition to Rhode Island and Hawaii, other states that have identified as the targets for marriage equality are Delaware, Illinois, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
‘I expect in the next weeks and months ahead, we’ll see a number of other victories,’ Griffin said. ‘They’re still going to be hard-fought. Our opposition is still fighting day in and day out to keep marriage equality from reaching other states in this country but they are losing their momentum.’
The marriage victories in Maryland, Maine and Washington as well as the defeat of an anti-marriage measure in Minnesota as well as the reelection of President Barack Obama make such ambitious goals possible.
‘Five percent of the electorate identified as LGB(T) in this election – six million voters,’ Griffin said. ‘When the vote margin is close, you can see that LGBT people can make the difference in these elections and I expect we will increasingly do so.’
Griffin praises Obama for such first term accomplishments as putting an end to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, instructing his administration to longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court as well as personally speaking out in favor of gay marriage.
But he’s not letting up.
‘This president has made history in his first term and it’s my hope that in a second term, we will see a number of other historic victories,’ Griffin said.
He is pushing for more openly gay officials to be appointed throughout the administration including including the cabinet and wants Obama to sign an executive order where it would make it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate in the workplace.
‘There are a number of things that we still need to do for full equality to be felt in every single corner of this vast country,’ Griffin said. ‘We still have a lot of work to do but the momentum is on our side no question.’
Griffin took over as head of HRC in June. It is the largest LGBT equality-rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the US.