With the US Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments today in marriage equality cases in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee,’ Gay Star News asked several celebrities to share their thoughts on what could be a historic ruling.
The cases are challenging the constitutionality of laws banning marriage between same-sex couples and could settle the issue for the US where same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states plus the District of Columbia..
‘I am optimistic,’ said Star Trek icon George Takei.
Takei points to two years ago when in a 5-4 vote, the high court gutted the Defense of Marriage Act which allowed the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.
‘I think we’ll have the same votes with us this time around (as in 2013),’ he said. ‘However, we always have to be mindful of the challenges facing us.’
Takei is referring to inevitable backlash from gay marriage foes who will push for such things as Indiana’s highly controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Emmy winning actor Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) is similarly optimistic yet also cautious.
‘It would be groundbreaking and obviously something that we’ve all been dreaming about for a very long time. And to see it so, so close, I’m scared to jinx it,’ said Bucatinsky who is married to director Don Roos.
Actor Wilson Cruz (The Red Band Society) said the LGBTI movement is not at the place where it can take anything for granted.
‘I think it looks good but we’ve been surprised before,’ Cruz says. ‘I’m feeling good about it, I’m keeping hopeful and I think it’s important to continue to keep the pressure on.’
Alec Mapa feels like there’s no stopping the enormous progress of recent years.
‘It spans now 37 states – we’re the majority already and you can’t stop that kind of momentum,’ said Mapa who has had recurring roles on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.
‘I think that regardless of the amount of discrimination in this country, this country has a basic sense of fairness that we are moving towards at all times and I think history has shown that,’ Mapa added.
Bucatinsky believes that even if the Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal across the US, there will still be much work to do.
‘Changing a court’s opinion is a very important step but changing the actual public opinion of this country is the next hurdle – the next frontier,’ he said.
‘While our court might decide that it is absolutely unconstitutional to discriminate against two gay people who want to get married, to change the opinion of the masses beyond what the law says is going to take so much more work and it’s another reason why we can’t stop with just that.’