The momentum within the gay rights movement is palpable, and conservatives and liberals alike can feel it. In the aftermath of the strike down of DOMA and Prop 8, human rights groups and pro-marriage equality politicians are aggressively taking action to ensure further progress for same-sex couples.
One of them is Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, who has pledged to “Win marriage equality in all 50 states within five years,” according to the Washington Blade. Since the announcement of that impressive yet challenging goal, politicians and national groups have initiated plans to bring marriage equality to the 37 states where same-sex couples are still prohibited from wedding, the Blade reports. The Human Rights Campaign has a very public and political presence, and has garnered immense national support, as has the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER).
Chad Griffin is an active member of AFER, as are many other prominent politicians, lawyers, and activists, of varying political affiliations. The fight for marriage equality is one that more and more conservative Republicans are joining. Republicans like Ken Mehlman, also a member of AFER, have taken a huge initiative towards earning marriage equality across the board. In Mehlman’s case, this involves earning support from many other Republicans in order to create legislative change, and he has truly made headway in his efforts.
According to the New York Post, “In the most high-profile Supreme Court case of the year, with the future of how we view civil rights and treat our fellow-citizens at stake, someone had quietly engineered enough prominent conservatives from the opposition party to sign onto a legal brief supporting full equality for gay and lesbian Americans. That someone was Ken Mehlman…” explaining how the former chairman of the Republican National Committee has become an asset to the gay rights movement because of his ties to many conservatives. The New York Post also describes Mehlman as being “one of the smartest political operatives anywhere in the country right now, and that he understands better than perhaps anyone how moderate and persuadable Republicans think,” making him an invaluable advocate within the gay rights movement.
Though many conservatives don’t foresee universal marriage equality being achieved in our lifetimes, with the help of prominent, dedicated activists like Mehlman and Griffin, the battle for marriage equality might finally cease in five years’ time.