The Agenda

LGBTQ Leaders, Marriage and the Supreme Court

Today’s historic Supreme Court oral arguments in a case that could bring marriage equality to every corner of America are the result of the hard work and commitment of hundreds if not thousands of openly LGBTQ leaders in government, law, politics and advocacy who believed this day was possible. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these brave souls.
Out lawmakers, lawyers and lobbyists teamed up with generous donors and supporters to create the legal and cultural change that was necessary to get us to the doorstep of victory. I’m thinking today of people like Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who worked for years in the Washington state legislature to win marriage equality. I’m thinking of people like Maryland State Delegate Mary Washington, who along with seven other openly LGBTQ lawmakers convinced her colleagues to approve marriage equality in her state.
I’m thinking of New Yorkers like Chris Quinn, Deborah Glick, Danny O’Donnell and Tom Duane–out elected officials who were among the loudest voices insisting on the freedom to marry the people they love in the Empire State.
Out lawyers like Paul Smith, Evan Wolfson, Robbie Kaplan and Mary Bonauto have been fierce defenders and expanders of the legal rights won by LGBTQ Americans.
We are blessed to have a growing number of allies who fight alongside us, and they will always be vital to our success, but today it’s good to step back and marvel at the talent, drive and commitment among so many in our own community. The determination of LGBTQ leaders made this day possible, and that makes me incredibly proud of the work Victory does to build up the leaders who will continue this work in the future.
Whatever the Supreme Court decides, the work of LGBTQ leaders will be crucial in the ongoing fight to secure our freedom and equality in all aspects of society and in every place our community calls home.
Aisha Moodie-Mills is president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute.