American Foundation for Equal Rights

Briefs in Prop. 8 and DOMA Cases

Briefs in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases provide a sneak peak into next month’s Supreme Court arguments. Plus, more surveys show a surge in public support for marriage, and a rally in Colorado as the House prepares to vote on civil unions.

Last week the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case filed their brief before the US Supreme Court. The brief is a record of the case so far and a preview of the argument they’ll make next month when they appear before the court. It’s an amazing distillation of the entire four-year process of fighting Prop 8.

You can watch a special episode of Marriage News Watch that explains the background and goes into more detail on the arguments. And visit to read the brief, and to sign up to support the case.

The main point of AFER’s brief is that Prop 8 violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. It does that by denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, and by creating an unequal status without protecting any legitimate government interest.

We’re now just a month away from oral argument before the court on March 26.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration filed a brief in the other major marriage case before the court, a lawsuit challenging DOMA. The Justice Department brief calls DOMA unconstitutional on the basis of equal protection. They have until Thursday of this week to file a brief in the Prop 8 case as well.

Also this week the Respect for Marriage Coalition released a brand new ad. The video features Republican Marine Corporal Craig Stowell, who wants to be the best man at his gay brother’s wedding.

Public opinion is moving fast on the freedom to marry. A new survey by Goodwin Simon shows that 59 percent of Americans oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. The same poll shows that just 43 percent oppose marriage equality.

And there’s an even bigger advantage in Illinois, where a marriage bill is backed by 50 percent of voters and opposed by just 29. But a big margin of 20 percent is still undecided.

Finally this week, Colorado is moving rapidly towards passage of a civil union bill. The House Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday. One Colorado is organizing a noon rally for supporters at the Capitol in Denver.

Those are the headlines, remember to share this video with family and friends — it’s the most effective way to win supporters over to our side. And head over to to sign up for news alerts and to support the case.