Two Congress-people from Wisconsin have a more personal stake in the eventual rulings by the US Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan are both open about their homosexuality, and the two won office as history makers. Senator Baldwin is the first openly lesbian or gay member of the Senate, and Representative Pocan is the first openly gay member of Congress to win a seat vacated by another openly lesbian or gay member of Congress, namely Senator Baldwin’s old seat.
Senator Baldwin issued this reaction to the way in which the oral arguments went today in the US Supreme Court:
“This is a historic week in the U.S. Supreme Court, where they will hear two important cases on marriage equality. Our country has made great progress since I first entered public service and was elected to political office in 1986. Over time, we have all seen with clarity that our nation is moving forward on issues of equal opportunity and fairness with a growing number of Americans supporting marriage equality. People’s views are changing because they believe that gay family members, friends, and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States.
“This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will listen to arguments in cases that will decide whether our country becomes more equal, not less. The Court will decide whether gay American citizens can continue to be discriminated against simply because of who they love. On Wednesday, I look forward to being a witness to history as I am excited to have a chance to attend the U.S. Supreme Court proceedings. With these two historic cases, America’s highest court will have an opportunity to reflect the progress we have all witnessed across our country. They will have an opportunity to reaffirm our founding belief that all Americans are created equal under the law.”
Representative Pocan, who married his husband back in 2006, said with regards to Hollingsworth v. Perry that:
“The Supreme Court has an unparalleled opportunity in the coming days and weeks to move our country closer to our founding ideals of equality for all,” said Pocan. “As the Supreme Court hears challenges to Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, I am hopeful the court will reflect the rising momentum of support for marriage equality and vote to strike down these discriminatory laws that treat LGBT couples as second-class citizens. It has become increasingly evident that supporters of marriage equality have the country and the Constitution on our side.”
How the Court decides the Prop 8 and DOMA cases is the subject of much speculation right now.