Mass pro gay marriage rallies are to be held in all 50 US states and over 160 cities from tomorrow (23 March), ahead of the Supreme Court hearings to overturn two bans on marriage equality.
Next week, on 26 and 27 March the US Supreme Court will begin hearings concerning the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, which the rallies intend to highlight.
The two cases will challenge the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 will be accompanied by rallies of LGBT Americans which will demand the court stands for equality and freedom for everyone.
The US wide rallies will culminate in a three day mass events (25-27 March), entitled ‘United for Marriage: Light the way to Justice’, on the footsteps of the US Supreme Court at Washington DC.
Participants plan to express their belief ‘that all Americans deserve to be treated fairly and equally under the law – no matter who they love’.
The rally will begin with youth holding a candlelight vigil on the evening of 25 March, holding two rallies for each hearing, along with a prayer session for equality, sharing stories related to gay marriage and a Seder - a Jewish Passover meal.
The events are sponsored by the United for Marriage Coalition, comprised of several religious, civic, labor and LGBT rights groups from around the country.
The Washington Blade reported that it has learned that ‘Republican supporters of nuptials for gays and lesbians, service members and civil rights leaders are among those who are scheduled to speak at a rally’.
Quoted by the Washington Blade, Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEqual, said: ‘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.
‘It’s clear from this national response that there is a powerful movement for LGBT equality growing and building across the country’.
To rallies also capitalize on recent polls showing a majority of Americans support gay marriage.
However, an anti-marriage equality rally, dubbed the ‘March for Marriage’, is also planned and at the same dates in the US capital, and is sponsored chiefly by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), as well as Family Research Council (FRC), Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Protect Marriage and other right wing groups.
Protect Marriage alleged today that a leaked email of a retired Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker asking the US solicitor general if he should attend the hearings, amounts to a conspiracy by gay activists and ‘casting even more doubt Walker’s … legitimacy’.
The anti-gay marches are also backed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which instructed all its clerics to tell Catholics it is their 'obligation' to support the march.