Brian Brown: Same-Sex Marriage Not Inevitable Nationally
(WASHINGTON) — When asked whether same-sex marriage bans across the country will eventually be struck down following the landmark Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, that he didn’t think that it would be “inevitable.”
Despite this week’s rulings, which declared part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and dismissed an appeal made by supporters of Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California, Brown downplayed the victories claimed by gay marriage supporters, saying that the Court did not establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case that considered the California ban passed in 2008.
“The court said, well, the proponents don’t have standing. It did not say that there was a constitutional right to redefine marriage,” Brown said on ABC’s This Week Sunday.
President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin also joined This Week and said he’s prepared to continue to “fight this battle on all fronts,” through referenda, state legislation and federal court cases to expand same-sex marriage rights further.
Brown said the precedent set in California, where state officials refused to defend Proposition 8 — a law passed by popular referendum — is “horrific for our republic.”
“If the governor and attorney general don’t to want defend that law, you’ve just gutted the initiative and referendum process. This is not an American value,” Brown said.
Brown called Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority decision in the DOMA case an “absolute travesty” and “incoherent.”
He added that Justice Kennedy “says something that is patently untrue,” that a person who believes “this truth, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is somehow motivated by animus and discrimination.”
Such an assumption, Brown said, “leads to discrimination against those of us who know that there’s something unique and special about husbands and wives, mothers and fathers coming together in marriage.”
“There will be a lot of attempts to use this decision to redefine marriage in other states. And we will stand for the truth wherever it is,” Brown said.
Griffin, an advocate of gay marriage whose wins this week prompted congratulatory calls from President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke of the broader status of same-sex marriage across the United States.
“At the same time while we celebrate, we have to acknowledge that there are 37 states in this country that still don’t have equality,” Griffin said.
Asked if he thought gay marriage supporters will win victories to expand same-sex marriage to other states, Griffin said, “I have all expectation that we will.”
Griffin pointed to the history of social movements to predict the outcome of the same-sex marriage debate.
“This country has always moved historically — whether it was women’s rights, or the Civil Rights Movement of the 50′s and 60′s to today — we have always moved to greater inclusion and treating all of our citizens equally under the law,” Griffin said.
“We’re well on our way. We’re not there yet, but we’re well on our way,” he added.
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