With less than a day before the deadline runs out, openly gay Congressman Mark Takano again urged President Obama to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to rule California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. And he is optimistic, even with the narrowing window of time, that the president will act.
Takano, a Japanese-American educator representing Riverside, Calif., was elected in 2012, becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.
“I’m optimistic he will file a brief,” Takano said, as activists continue to pressure the White House, knowing that a brief from an administration often does have weight with the court. “He did file a brief in the [DOMA] case. And a number of different groups have piled on, including business execs and even some notable Republicans have filed briefs in the [Prop 8] case. Given what the President said both at the inauguration and the State of the Union, I’m hopeful he’s going to weigh in on the Perry case." (Scroll down to listen the full interview)
"I think the prospects at minimum are that the Supreme Court allows the 9th circuit Dourt of Appeals decision to stand,” Takano said of the case, which the Supreme Court will hear at the end of March. “That would mean that Prop 8 basically has been overturned for California.”
Takano made the comments in an interview on my SiriusXM radio show yesterday, following up on remarks he made in a letter to President Obama this week. The president's solicitor general has until midnight tonight to file the brief. This week over 100 Republican and conservative leaders who support marriage equality filed a brief urging the court to throw out Prop 8.
Takano also talked about the challenges, and the excitement, of being elected to Congress and becoming one of a record five openly gay, lesbian or bisexual members in the House. And he also discuss his unique path to Congress having been a teacher 20 years before entering national politics for the the first time.
Listen to the full interview with Takano below:
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Connecticut's Supreme Court <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/10/connecticut-gay-marriage_n_133605.html" target="_blank">ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry on Nov. 12, 2008</a>, making it the third state in the nation to do achieve marriage equality.
Iowa's Supreme Court <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/03/iowa-gay-marriage-ban-rul_n_182782.html" target="_blank">ruled the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional</a> on April 3, 2009.
Maine <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/gay-marriage-victory_n_2085900.html" target="_blank">made history in the November 2012 election</a> when it became the first state to pass marriage equality on the ballot. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "Voters in Maine came to the common-sense conclusion that all people deserve the ability to make loving, lifelong commitments through marriage." Just three years ago, a popular vote overturned legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to <a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-legal-same-sex-marriage-performed-in-massachusetts" target="_blank"> legalize same-sex marriage on May 17, 2004</a>. The state's Supreme Court initially found the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional on Nov. 18, 2003.
Same-sex couples were able to <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-6042937.html" target="_blank">begin seeking marriage licenses</a> on Jan. 1, 2010.
Vermont, which invented civil unions, became <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/07/vermont-legalizes-gay-mar_n_184034.html" target="_blank">the first state to legalize gay marriage through a legislature's vote</a> -- overriding the governor's veto. Same-sex couples were able to begin marrying on Sept, 1, 2009.
Gay couples were able to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/01/gay-marriage-dc-council-p_n_375435.html" target="_blank">begin marrying in the nation's capital</a> on March 9, 2010.
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