While a number of institutional LGBT rights organizations (that have made significant progress at the state level) today cautioned against federal action, John Dean, appearing on Wednesday’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, makes the case that regardless of state decisions and citizens’ votes, marriage equality has become a national, federal civil rights issue, just as was Loving v. Virginia in 1967, in which the US Supreme Court ruled against interracial marriage bans.

Here’s the ACLU:

In response to the California Supreme Court decision allowing Prop 8 to stand, four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groups are reminding the LGBT community that ill-timed lawsuits could set the fight for marriage back.

Federal cases have been discouraged for some time, since the Supreme Court’s conservative tilt terrifies LGBT organizations — could a ruling against our rights or marriages set the movement back a generation? John Dean, conversely, believes the Ninth Circuit provides a friendly venue for such a case, sure to be framed around equal protection. But he recognizes that an eventual path to the US Supreme Court poses a risk for everyone affected.

(Interesting that these two attorneys squared off in 2000 in one of the US Supreme Court’s most famous non-precedental equal protection cases ever decided.)

The national organizations encouraging action at the ballot box and discouraging lawsuits are the ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal, NCLR, Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, glaad, HRC, and the NGLTF.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge