"The American people are way ahead of the judiciary... people have embraced marriage equality... the Supreme Court has the responsibility to catch up to that," Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., told Jansing & Co. Monday. Cicilline is one of the first openly-gay members of Congress.
A pair of potentially groundbreaking cases on same-sex marriage go before the Supreme Court this week. On Tuesday, justices will hear arguments on whether to overturn California's voter-approved Proposition Eight, which bans same-sex marriage. And on Wednesday, the high court will hear arguments on whether to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples.
The Supreme Court drama comes as the public and political mood is shifting. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) became the second U.S. senator in recent weeks to announce support for same-sex marriage. And a new poll shows a majority of Americans, 58 percent, say same-sex marriage should be legal.
"This is not partisan. Equality is not partisan," Aisha Moodie-Mills, adviser on LGBT policy and racial justice with the Center for American Progress, said. "We know that this is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," she told Jansing & Co.
Jimmy LaSalvia, Co-founder and Executive Director of GOProud, believes the country has reached a tipping point. "Even the polls show that a majority of young conservatives support same-sex marriage," he said. "There's room in the Republican party for a variety of views on the issue where that wasn't the case not that long ago."