A rally took place Sunday in Greenwich Village as hundreds marched for gay rights just days before the Supreme Court will hear arguments on two key cases. As reported by CBS New York, demonstrators were joined by elected officials as the march started at Christopher Street which is symbolic because it is the site of the famous Stonewall Inn where the modern gay rights movement began. The rally ended at Washington Square Park.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Hollingsworth v. Perry which will challenge California’s Proposition 8, a referendum that voters adopted in 2008 that added a new provision to the California Constitution stating that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
On Wednesday, the court will hear arguments in United States v. Windsor which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. The law defines marriage as between a man and woman and also denies same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. This affects couples in states where same-sex marriage is legal and is the reason why, as one demonstrator said, is the most “important week of his life”
Tim Hare, a demonstrator who has been married for 37 years told CBS New York: “Probably for me, the most important week of my life as an American citizen. We are targeted by the federal, state and local governments for prejudice and discrimination.”
Under DOMA, gay couples currently miss out on tax benefits, hospital visitation rights and Social Security benefit rights when a spouse dies. DOMA was struck down as unconstitutional in eight federal courts and has been deemed unconstitutional by President Barack Obama.
Sundays rally in Greenwich Village was more that a demonstration, it was a gathering of many faces who represent family, support and those hoping for equality. It was also a showcase of community.
Joining the rally were elected officials which included state Sen. Thomas Duane, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell.