Today, March 6, dozens of “friend-of-the-court” briefs were filed to the U.S. Supreme Court, making the case that the Justices should rule in favor of the freedom to marry and end marriage discrimination, including in Georgia, one of 13 states where a marriage ban remains in effect.
The amici briefs come in the lead-up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral argument in the marriage cases, scheduled now for Tuesday, April 28. A decision, which should come by late June, could bring the freedom to marry nationwide, including to same-sex couples in Georgia.
Jeff Graham, Executive Director of Georgia Equality, said today:
We are thrilled but not surprised at the prominent names representing Georgia today in friend-of-the-court briefs in support of marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court. Support for the freedom to marry in Georgia now outweighs opposition, and Georgia leaders know that their constituents value fairness and equality. We hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and brings marriage for same-sex couples to Georgia, as well as the rest of the country, as soon as possible.
Don’t miss several of the key briefs filed today, highlighting Georgia’s integral signers and the overall national momentum for marriage:
- Clergy and Faith Leaders: The Faith Brief was signed by nearly 2,000 faith leaders, arguing that the freedom to marry will affirm religious liberty in the United States. Dozens of faith leaders from Georgia signed onto the brief, including civil rights leader Rev. Dr. CT Vivian, Bishop Keith Whitmore, Emory University Director of Baptist Studies David Key, Rev. Dr. Francis Johnson, and Mercer University Professor of Christian Ethics David Gushee.
- Employers, Businesses and Organizations: The Business Brief was signed by almost 400 leading American businesses, and outlines how the patchwork marriage laws across the country add an economic and administrative burden on the companies as they try to accommodate their employees. Georgia businesses included the Coca-Cola Company and Delta Airlines.
- Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders, and Organizations: The First Responders Brief was signed by over 200 workers nationwide who put their lives on the line every day for their country. The brief makes the case that extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples protects First Responders and their families through equal rights in life and equal access to benefits for the families of the fallen. Four first responders from Georgia signed onto the brief, including one Atlanta Police Department Officer.
- Mayors: The Mayors Brief was signed by 226 mayors from 40 cities, as well as 40 cities from across the country. The brief was signed by Mayors for the Freedom to Marry three years after its launch, and explains how the freedom to marry has positively affected the cities in which it is law. Mayors from the state of Georgia who signed on included Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Mayor Jannquell Peters of East Point, Mayor James Thomas, Jr. of Hinesville, and Mayor Edward Terry of Clarkson.
These briefs make clear how thousands of Americans – including many prominent Georgia voices – are calling on the nation’s highest court to end marriage discrimination once and for all and allow ALL families the dignity and fairness that only marriage can provide.
Georgia Equality has been proud to work this year on identifying and enlisting key signatories for many of these amici briefs, working in tandem with our partners at Freedom to Marry.