Same-sex marriage set for big day in federal court

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January 11, 2010


"After a run of setbacks at the state level, gay rights advocates will take the campaign for same-sex marriage into a federal courtroom on Monday, starting down a treacherous avenue that ends at a U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservatives.

"...California in 2010 is a place where the state officials named in the lawsuit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), favor same-sex marriage. But concerns about how quickly society accepts change have steered wary gay rights activists clear of federal courts. The strategy was to litigate and lobby first in states regarded as hospitable to gay issues, and let the public get used to the idea.

"'We still believe that's a wise course,' said Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal. The advocacy group feared that a premature venture into federal courts could set back gay rights, but it welcomes the San Francisco proceedings as 'a showcase' for 'the many harms we suffer from being denied equal marriage.'"