Two cases will go before the Supreme Court regarding the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States, one on March 26 and the other the following day, March 27.
On Tuesday, the Justices will hear arguments involving Proposition 8, the legislation which made gay marriage illegal in California in 2008. And on Wednesday, the Court will consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law in 1996 and federally defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.
We've seen an incredible amount of progress on the marriage equality front in the last 10 years -- including a huge push that came in just the last few months when same-sex marriage was made legal in Washington, Maryland and Maine.
As we nervously watch and wait to see how the Supreme Court rules on these two historic cases, we thought now was a good time to showcase some inspiring quotes about the fight for marriage equality. We've chosen 66 great quotes from queer people and their allies and featured them in the slideshow below.
Do you have a favorite quote that isn't featured? Tell us in the comments section, along with your thoughts on what you think is going to happen regarding the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.
President Barack Obama
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,"he said.
"If two people want to get married, it's their prerogative -- we hope. Everybody should be able to do what they want to do and be in the pursuit of happiness," <a href="http://equallywed.com/headlines/460-mariah-carey-supports-marriage-equality.html" target="_blank">the songstress told EquallyWed.com</a> during an interview in 2010.
"These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don't give a f*** about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We're making a big deal out of things we shouldn't be making a deal out of. They go on and on with all this bulls*** about "sanctity" -- <a href="http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=af55b3e2b38e0fb15ca13cc095b84428&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F03%2F04%2Fla-la-anthony-discusses-g_n_2806126.html%3Futm_hp_ref%3Dgay-voices%23slide%3D872699&v=1&libid=1363117967086&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gq.com%2Fentertainment%2Fmovies-and-tv%2F201110%2Fleonardo-dicaprio-clint-eastwood-gq-september-2011-cover-story-article%23ixzz1dEBChGb4&title=La%20La%20Anthony%20Attends%20Gay%20Wedding%2C%20Talks%20Marriage%20Equality%20On%20'Full%20Court%20Life'&txt=Just%20give%20everybody%20the%20chance%20to%20have%20the%20life%20they%20want.%22&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13631181672702">don't give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want</a>."
"If Britney Spears can party it up in Vegas with one of her boys and go get married on a whim and annul her marriage the next day, why can't a loving same sex couple tie the knot?," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendon-ayanbadejo/same-sex-marriages-whats_b_190591.html" target="_blank">said the Baltimore</a> Ravens linebacker in a blog for Huff Post.
"Really, darling, it's a no-brainer. You know, I understand not everybody is for gay marriage. But if you're not for gay marriage, don't marry a gay person. That's what I say," said the actress and television host.
"When women got the vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table. That is all we want to do; we have no desire to change marriage. We want to be entitled to not only the same privileges but the same responsibilities as straight people," said the "Sex and The City" star.
"What people do in their own homes is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple," said the Hip Hop mogul in response to President Barack Obama's stance on marriage equality.
“Right now the institution of marriage feels very one-sided, and I want to live in a country where we all have equal rights,”<a href="http://www.queerty.com/10-celebrities-avoiding-the-altar-until-same-sex-marriage-is-legal-20120826/" target="_blank"> the actress said</a>. “I have so many friends who are gays and lesbians who would so badly want to get married, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep with myself [if I got married before they could].”
"<a href="http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=af55b3e2b38e0fb15ca13cc095b84428&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F03%2F04%2Fla-la-anthony-discusses-g_n_2806126.html%3Futm_hp_ref%3Dgay-voices%23slide%3D1037910&v=1&libid=1363117967086&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justjared.com%2F2009%2F05%2F27%2Fdrew-barrymore-gay-marriage-rally%2F&title=La%20La%20Anthony%20Attends%20Gay%20Wedding%2C%20Talks%20Marriage%20Equality%20On%20'Full%20Court%20Life'&txt=stepped%20out%20to%20support%20gay%20marriage&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13631183067683">I am who I am</a> because of the people who influenced me growing up, and many of them were gay. No one has any right to tell anyone what makes a family," said the actress.
Rev. Al Sharpton
"As a Baptist minister, I don't have the right to impose my views on anyone else. If committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that is their business; none of us should stand in their way," said Sharpton.
“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/01/cheney-offers-his-support_n_209869.html" target="_blank"> Cheney said.</a> “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish.”
“Unfortunately, we don’t have the option of marriage in our country. We could go to Britain or Spain or Argentina and do something symbolic, but that’s not what I want. I want to have the rights of anybody else in my home country. I don’t want to be a second-class citizen," <a href="http://www.queerty.com/10-celebrities-avoiding-the-altar-until-same-sex-marriage-is-legal-20120826/" target="_blank">said the Latin crooner</a>.
"I've never been with a woman, so I guess I'm straight, OK? But I'm straight enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I am straight enough to know that if you want to marry whoever you want to marry, you should be able to marry whoever you want to marry," said the "Lady Marmalade" singer.
“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.”
"Everybody has the right to marry the person they love and be represented as a couple and family... It's something that people will look back on in years to come and say, 'I can't believe it took so long for us to recognize this.' It'll be<a href="http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=af55b3e2b38e0fb15ca13cc095b84428&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F03%2F04%2Fla-la-anthony-discusses-g_n_2806126.html%3Futm_hp_ref%3Dgay-voices%23slide%3D1037974&v=1&libid=1363117967086&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wwd.com%2Feye%2Fparties%2Fcalvin-klein-fetes-americans-for-marriage-equality-5400017&title=La%20La%20Anthony%20Attends%20Gay%20Wedding%2C%20Talks%20Marriage%20Equality%20On%20'Full%20Court%20Life'&txt=%20told%20%3Cem%3EWomen's%20Wear%20Daily.%3C%2Fem%3E&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13631186087394"> like segregation and giving women the right to vote</a>."
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Corey Booker
"It's about time that we create first class citizenship for every American plain and simple. Every New Jersey-ian. This should not be a popular vote. This is something we should do now."
“Why are they making rules that say my lover can stay in the United States if they’re foreign or share my health care benefits because I’m straight — but if you’re gay, you can’t have that?,"<a href="http://www.queerty.com/10-celebrities-avoiding-the-altar-until-same-sex-marriage-is-legal-20120826/" target="_blank"> said the actress</a>.
"It breaks my heart to know that millions of gay Americans still can't marry the one they love and I can. That makes no sense," the actress said.
"If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form," said the actor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York)
"Throughout our history each and every generation has expanded upon the freedoms won by their parents and grandparents. Each and every generation has removed some of the barriers to full participation in the American dream. And the next great barrier standing before our generation is the prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples," he said. <strong></strong>
Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker)
“It’s a strange sort of attack, to be sure: a wonderfully pacific attack, a supportive attack, an attack without the slightest intention or capacity to cause harm, consisting, as it does, of the earnest wish of certain loving couples to join themselves to that very institution and thus to feel themselves, and be accepted as, full members of the American (and human) family.”
"I feel the denial of gay marriage sends a prejudice message. Our youth deserve a fair and hopeful future with government that values us equally."
Sharon Lettman, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director
“This is about equal rights. This is about equality. We as Black people cannot forget the struggles we went through. For too long, we have been in denial about our brothers and sisters, that we have gays and lesbians in the African American community. We don’t want to put our dignity on a ballot. It is about dignity, it is about respect," she said. “The reality is there needs to be an honest conversation about the solidarity of the Black family. What has to be recognized is that gay and lesbian rights as African Americans need to be an inclusive part of the African American conversation … marriage equality can build stronger Black families.”
"I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone, " said the actor.
"It's two people that are in love with one another. What's the issue?"
“I should think that people would be more interested in politics and all that is happening, rather than two lovebirds who are looking to wed. I think it’s very nice that in an age when love is so scarce that people are willing to gamble on getting married.”
Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard
“We’re not going to have a party when half of our friends… can’t do that thing we’re doing. We’re not going to ask them to come celebrate a right they don’t have. That’s just tacky! Forget like anything else, it’s like really tacky for us," Shepard <a href="http://www.queerty.com/10-celebrities-avoiding-the-altar-until-same-sex-marriage-is-legal-20120826/" target="_blank">said in regards to not tying the knot with his fiance Kristen Bell</a> until gay marriage is legal.
“I think everyone should be happy. I think a fool is going to go against same sex marriage at this point. Look how long it took him [Obama] to say he was for same sex marriages. You understand? I’m up for it. If everyone else is for it, then hey, to each his own. I don’t have personal feelings towards it because I’m not involved in that lifestyle. I want people to be happy. It makes for everything to be better," the rapper told Vibe Magazine
“As much as the social conservatives might not like to hear it, there will be a time when your grandchildren say: ‘What was the argument with gay marriage? Who cares?’ ”
“You know, for me, the realization that two people should have the right to form a sacred union regardless of their gender was strengthened when I saw a performance of the play The Normal Heart in 1985. After feeling the love those two men had for each other, I dare anybody not to want them to get married by the end."
"Equality, absolutely, that's what defines us. It's what makes us great. If it doesn't sit well with your religion, let your God sort it out in the end, but that's us. We're equal," said the actor.
La La Anthony
When <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/la-la-anthony-discusses-g_n_2806126.html" target="_blank">asked about whether or not</a> she's afraid to be seen at a gay wedding, Anthony replied, “No, not at all. That’s something that I would definitely stand up for. I think about Dice, I think about Po. I think about everybody in my life and it’s like. I’m just happy to know that we’ve come this far."
"Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who you would risk your life for but couldn't marry. And you couldn't have that special day the way your friends do—you know, wear the ring on your finger and have it mean the same thing as everybody else. Just put yourself in that person's shoes. It makes me feel sick to my stomach," the singer and actress said in a piece in <a href="http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/2012/02/why-miley-cyrus-got-her-gay-marriage-tattoo-glamour-march-2012#ixzz1lKjX9nZP" target="_blank">Glamour Magazine</a>.
Julian Bond, National NAACP Chair
“Marriage is a civil right. If you don’t want gay people to marry in your church, good for you. But you can’t say they can’t marry in your city.”
“Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community. That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.”
MackleMore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert
"I might not be the same, but that's not important/No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it," Macklemore raps on his track "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert.
“That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love," the Republican candidate wrote <a href="http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/marriage-equality-is-a-conservative-cause485/" target="_blank">in an article</a> for The American Conservative.
"People against gay marriage say it will tear the social fabric of society...do you really think gay people would do anything to harm fabric?," <a href="https://twitter.com/Kluhjackson" target="_blank">she said</a>.
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire
“We cannot say to one couple that their love is deserving of marriage and to another that their love should only be called a partnership. ‘Separate but equal’ is never equal. Children of same-sex couples should not grow up wondering why their family is treated differently from other families," she said. “Parents who have fought fiercely for the rights of their much-loved Gay and Lesbian children should not have to worry that their children will be treated differently. As a mother, I can tell you that there is no prouder moment than watching your children grow up, fall in love, and commit to that love in front of their families and friends. I want that same joy for every parent and every child.”
“Portia and I have been married for 4 years and they have been the happiest of my life. And in those 4 years, I don’t think we hurt anyone else’s marriage. I asked all of my neighbors and they say they’re fine," the TV host stated<a href="http://www.ellentv.com/2013/02/28/ellens-brief-to-the-supreme-court" target="_blank"> in a brief posted</a> on her website.
Ohio Congressman Rob Portman
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,"he told <a href="http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2013/03/15/gay-couples-also-deserve-chance-to-get-married.html" target="_blank">the Columbus Dispatch</a>. “That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way."
“All of my life I've spent a lot of time with gay men — Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson — who are my colleagues, coworkers, confidantes, my closest friends, but I never thought of who they slept with! They were just the people I loved. I could never understand why they couldn’t be afforded the same rights and protections as all of the rest of us. There is no gay agenda, it’s a human agenda,"Taylor said upon receiving a media award from GLAAD in 2000.
"I think to each its own, if nobody is hurting anybody—who cares? Everyone should be able to do what they want and be happy. Who you love is who you love. That's the way I see it," said the songstress and actress.
Sen. Ed Murray (D)
“My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow," Murray said at the <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72808.html" target="_blank">signing ceremony </a>legalizing gay marriage in Washington State.
"If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that American dream," <a href="https://twitter.com/_itsakubiething/status/243869829256331264/photo/1" target="_blank">tweeted the First Lady of the United States</a>.
First Nation Church
“It is our steadfast belief that Love, not law, is the basis and the foundation of marriage. We also believe that no government should be allowed to legislate for or against any person based upon their gender, race, sexual orientation or religious belief,"First Nation Church <a href="http://firstnationchurch.org/" target="_blank">posted on their website</a> in 2007. “First Nation Church, its members and ministers believe that marriage is a covenant between two adults and their God, based upon their love for one another. We believe that love for each other, for nature and for all things created by God materializes from the heart, not from legislative bodies."
“Every gay reader understands the secret self that is full and wonderful and has longing and tenderness and a desire for connection to other people. I think that arguments against gay marriage are just ridiculous! Who cares? People want to get married for the same reason I wanted to get married. They want to do it in front of their friends and family," Carter wrote in Instinct Magazine in 2007. "They want it to be a legally binding thing. They want to have that commitment. The idea that there’s some moral issue about it is so ridiculous."
“I'm a UFC fighter, a macho-type sport. I am a heterosexual guy in a tough macho sport, which is exactly the reason I feel a duty to say I support gay marriage and gay rights. I have nothing to gain personally from supporting this issue, and that's the point. Society as a whole is better when there is equality, and I want to live in a country where everyone has the same rights because we all benefit from that," <a href="http://www.outsports.com/2013/3/8/4080284/rashad-evans-ufc-gay-marriage-supreme-court" target="_blank">he said</a>. “What people overlook is that is isn't a sex issue, its a love issue. There's no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other. I have kids. I don't want them growing up in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with.”
"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry, I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love," Underwood said in an <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/carrie-underwood-us-country-queen-speaks-out-for-gay-marriage--but-how-will-conservative-fans-take-it-7831956.html?origin=internalSearch" target="_blank">interview with the Independent</a>. "Above all, God wanted us to love others. We have to love each other and get on with each other, she added. It's not up to me to judge anybody."
"I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us," he said in an interview with <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-788935.html" target="_blank">CBS News in 2009</a>.
"In my heart, I know that marriage equality for every human being isn't a question of if, but only a matter of when. I ask those who feel that giving freedom to others somehow binds you, to please take a good look at what you are standing behind," <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5755194" target="_blank">wrote the Hip Hop mogul.</a> "It is only through opening your hearts will you be able to see that by promoting freedom for all, you are unchaining yourself. I guess I'm an optimist. I have faith in people and our government ultimately to do the right thing. And to my brothers and sisters in California, I'm there with you every step of the way until that day comes."