Yesterday, a coalition of gay rights organizations released a joint advisory about what same-sex couples should do now that marriage has been won in
The advisory tackles the question of whether same-sex couples everywhere should sue their employers, states and the federal government for the same rights that have been won in
Although some lawsuits could potentially have good results in some states, they have almost no chance of winning in states with more conservative records and less public support for gay rights. And unfortunately, just like the decision in
In the legal world, it’s very difficult to overturn a court case once such a precedent has been set. And nowhere does this hold truer than on a federal level, so if a challenge to the federal DOMA were to reach the Supreme Court and be overruled, it would make the fight for marriage equality all the more difficult for years and potentially decades to come. In addition, it makes more sense to win marriage through legislation than through the courts, since the law can’t be struck down as easily.
So what can same-sex couples do to win marriage? Couples that have already been married in places where it is legal should continue to be vocal about their marriages so that their neighbors, coworkers and community can see that lesbian and gay marriages are no different than their own. Same-sex couples can be active in asking their towns to establish domestic partnership registries and asking their employers for partner benefits. But hold off on hiring a lawyer, for now. By picking their battles where they know they can win, same-sex marriage activists will have a much better chance of winning equality and justice in both