For MSNBC‘s Touré, host of The Cycle, the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on marriage equality may not be enough, despite strong voices from the LGBT community.
If gay Americans were as powerful as he imagines we would not be debating their rights at all, they would have them. But in the real world gay rights groups are massively outspent by their opponents and the stampede of federal elected officials declaring support for gay marriage includes only one Republican senator–so how will that trend lead to legislation?
The Supreme Court appears poised to overturn DOMA and to return gay marriage to California on a technicality, but the court is unlikely to address the 31 states that have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. So gays and lesbians who live in those states will continue to wait for equal protection and equal rights. It looks as though we are headed for a stalemate where many blue states allow same sex marriage or civil unions and all of the red states do not. And with bans enshrined in their constitutions it’ll take fundamental change in the composition of those states to overturn the bans.
I believe victory is inevitable for the gay rights movement, but justice delayed is justice denied. We may be about to enter a the long slog phase where progress slows to a crawl. So what is the way forward? Despite what the Chief Justice thinks, gays and lesbians lack political power and this is because they are underrepresented in the political process. This is the argument of an amicus brief filed by 12 political scientists as part of Hollingsworth v Perry, aka Prop 8. Gays and lesbians make up 3.5% of the population but there are only six openly gay or lesbian representatives and only one openly gay senator. The percentage in state legislatures is even worse.
Read Touré’s entire piece at MSNBC.com.
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