- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

With stunning swiftness, the legal landscape for same-sex marriage has been reshaped in less than a year after the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

What some thought would be a state-by-state political trickle instead has been a legal tsunami.

“There is now marriage equality or marriage equality litigation in every state. Momentum is clearly on our side,” Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, told a sold-out event for legal allies June 10.

Still, opponents of same-sex marriage are undeterred.

The National Organization for Marriage and other groups are rallying like-minded activists to attend a national March for Marriage on Thursday and sharpening their arguments for the inevitable showdown in the Supreme Court.

“It’s 1972 for marriage,” said National Organization for Marriage President Brian S. Brown, referring to the year before the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade.

Declarations about the inevitability of same-sex marriage are also dismissed.

Advocates of same-sex marriage “are trying to quit while they’re ahead, but there’s still a lot left in this battle. It’s only the fourth inning,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, which follows federalism issues in major lawsuits.

“It’s by no means clear exactly what the [Supreme] Court will do. It’s very much in play,” she said.

Legal lockstep

In the year since the Supreme Court issued rulings in two same-sex marriage cases — which opened federal recognition of same-sex marriages and led to the reopened gay marriages in California — gay rights supporters have had an avalanche of victories, including one more in Wisconsin on June 6.

The result: a transformed national landscape on same-sex marriage that has taken even supporters by surprise.

“This is for everybody, so congratulations,” said a jubilant Lindsay Vandermay, who married Ashley Wilson at the stroke of midnight May 23 in Philadelphia — in possibly the first same-sex nuptial in Pennsylvania’s history.

Their wedding reflected Pennsylvania’s status as the 19th state to permit same-sex marriage, up from a dozen states a year ago.

More rulings are on their way: With the filings of two lawsuits in North Dakota this month, every “holdout” state has legal action related to same-sex marriage.

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