For many, it was the close to a long, momentous day: This evening’s Decision Day Rally at Independence Mall celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage across the country. Hundreds showed up on the lawn across from the National Constitution Center to join in fellowship and hear remarks from William Way Community Center Executive Director Chris Bartlett, GALAEI Executive Director Elicia Gonzales, Mayor Michael Nutter, Mayoral candidate Jim Kenney, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Rue Landau, and many, many more. We were on hand to capture some of the gorgeous moments from the early evening gathering.
[Updated with reaction and slideshow from a rally at the National Constitution Center, below.]
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that marriage is a fundamental right, and that states cannot prohibit gay and lesbian folks from marrying. The reaction has been overwhelming on social media, both in Philadelphia and around the country.
For those of us who have fought the battle for marriage equality…. this is a mind out of body experience…wow!
— Mark Segal (@PhilaGayNews) June 26, 2015
Visit Philadelphia was ready with an ad campaign:
And people from all walks of life celebrated:
Breaking news: The United States Supreme Court has finally reached their decision on whether or not states can ban same-sex marriage and whether or not states must recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The high court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the “Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex…And to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when a marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.”
We’ll be out and about Philadelphia for the rest of the day getting reaction and watching the community celebrate.
Read the full Supreme Court decision with dissenting opinions below: Read more »
We’ll have to wait a bit longer: The Supreme Court will not issue their decision today, Thursday, June 25, on gay marriage.
Gay Philly has been patiently waiting for the ruling, as a huge Decision Day rally is planned on Independence Mall on the afternoon of the Supreme Court announcement. A large group of Philadelphia LGBT organizations, including HRC and the William Way Community Center, are cosponsoring the festivities.
Stay tuned to G Philly for more updates.
The tentative agenda is as follows:
Approximately 10 am: Decision handed down
12 pm to 1 pm: Light snacks, review of opinion, media coverage, large screen Twitter feed
12 pm to 5 pm: Free admission to Speaking OUT for Equality
5 pm to 7 pm: Decision Day Rally on National Constitution Center lawn and (possibly) the lawn between Arch and Market Streets
Those who wish to follow and/or Tweet about the verdict and the rally are encouraged to use hashtag #DecisionDay.
There’s speculation that the United States Supreme Court may issue their marriage equality ruling tomorrow, Thursday, June 18th. Read more »
On Tuesday, three local LGBT activists are flying across the proverbial pond to volunteer for Ireland’s marriage referendum. Trevor Powell, attorney John Keating, and civil rights activist and political blogger Jay Lassiter met while working for Garden State Equality during the New Jersey marriage equality campaign in 2009. They’ve worked on a number of campaigns together since, but now they’re ready to take their teamwork overseas.
The referendum makes Ireland the only nation in the world that’s asking its citizens to vote for marriage equality. If the vote passes this Friday, May 22nd, couples will have the right to marry in a country that currently only recognizes civil unions. I shot Powell, a recent graduate of Temple University, a few questions to see what they have planned for their trip.
Are you going with an organization?
We aren’t affiliated with any organization. This is literally a group of political friends with several years’ experience behind working on LGBT campaigns who decided that this opportunity was too important to turn down.
Why did you decide to do this?
Jay, John, and I decided that, after working several LGBT-related campaigns in the U.S., we should contribute our parts to the marriage equality campaign in Ireland. The three of us worked to turn out the vote in Maine and Maryland in 2012. Those were among the first states in the U.S. to pass marriage equality via the ballot box. We are hoping to take that same success over to Ireland.
Ireland is the first nation in the world to put marriage equality to a country-wide vote, and, if the referendum passes, it will be a watershed movement for the LGBT movement worldwide. Despite the promising poll numbers which indicate 70 percent of Irish voters favor marriage equality, there is still no room for complacency. The actual vote will be much tighter than indicated and turnout, which is key to the success of the campaign, will likely be low. We cannot take the outcome of the referendum for granted, nor can we leave it to other people to expect it to pass.
What will the job actually entail?
The job will entail canvassing neighborhoods, phone-banking, and turning out the vote from students on campuses like the University of Dublin and Trinity College.
What kind of insight can a group of activists from Philly bring to this cause?
The rights of same-sex couples to marry is the civil rights issue of our generation. For the overwhelming majority of millennials, granting same-sex couples the right to marry is a no-brainer. The younger generations need to take their support to the ballot box and be reminded just how pivotal this vote is—not only for Ireland, but for the rest of the world, too. The goal of this campaign is to get equality-minded voters, who are clearly the majority, out to the polls.
This morning, Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in a handful of cases challenging the Constitution’s right to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. As The New York Times reports, the outcome isn’t necessarily as hopeful-sounding as some of us may have expected. Audio recordings of today’s arguments are slowly popping up on the Supreme Court website (hear part one here), but NYT offers a helpful rundown of how each justice was feeling at the end of the session:
What could arguably be the biggest history-making event of 2015 begins tomorrow, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments over the issue of marriage equality in the United States. The American Foundation for Equal Rights’ Matt Baume put together this snappy video to let you know what to expect, which is basically not a whole lot just yet.
He explains that there will be arguments presented by both sides of the case: The states (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee) who argue that they have the right to deny same-sex marriage, and several married couples from those states who say their right to marry is protected by the Constitution.” The two questions the Supreme Court will need to answer are (1) whether the Fourteenth Amendment gives states the right to ban gay people from marrying and (2) whether the fourteenth amendment grants states the right to refuse same-sex marriages performed in other states.
When the arguments are finished, the Supreme Court will post audio recordings on their website so we can all hear what was said; and the the Supreme Court will take some time to weigh the comments. It’s projected we’ll have a ruling sometime in late-June, which, coincidentally is Pride month. “It’s impossible to say exactly how the Court will rule, but you might want to prepare your wedding invitations now—just in case,” says Baume, with a twinkle in his eye.
Stay tuned to the Internet for any updates!