Waiting for the Courts: Hopes and Fears Over DOMA & Prop 8

By Catherine Woodiwiss 06-24-2013

A supporter of same-sex marriage stands in front of the Supreme Court Monday. Photo via Brandon Hook/Sojourners.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down decisions on two significant cases for same-sex marriage: United States v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding California’s Proposition 8).

Though the Court’s findings could have landmark implications for same-sex marriage in the United States, it is unknown the degree to which the Court’s rulings in either case will set broad precedents for legal definitions of marriage nationwide.

Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage across the political and religious spectrum have been vocal in their opinions, with several organizations releasing pre-statements on the issue earlier today. For example, the Manhattan Declaration — a conservative gathering of Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Christians and an outspoken proponent of marriage as a union between one man & one woman — issued a statement today, declaring:

“If the Supreme Court rejects the time-honored purpose of marriage, it will be because the court — like many of our friends, neighbors and colleagues — has lost the meaning of marriage and its civic importance. We will have no one to blame but ourselves.”

At the Supreme Court this morning, an expectant crowd gathered hoping to catch the decisions firsthand. Most in attendance were visibly supportive of same-sex marriage, and many were cautiously optimistic that the Court would strike down DOMA, Proposition 8, or both.

See our slideshow and interviews with those gathered at the Supreme Court, below.


Catherine Woodiwiss is Associate Web Editor at Sojourners. Find her on Twitter @chwoodiwiss.


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