I Hate To Yell 'Misogyny!' In A Crowded Country, But What Else Can You Call Texas’ Actions?

I believe that if you call yourself pro-life, you better damn well take care of the living. There, I said it. But Texas’ attacks on Planned Parenthood and its refusal to take Medicaid money have left women not only without the option to terminate their pregnancies, it’s left them with hardly any care at all. Gov. Rick Perry might be standing by his principles, but his constituents are just plain getting stood up.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/i-hate-to-yell-misogyny-in-a-crowded-country-but-what-else-can-you-call-texas-actions

Democratic Victory Will Unleash Obama, Top Backers Say

Carolyn Kaster / AP

CHICAGO — In the basement conference rooms of the posh Fairmont Hotel, President Obama’s top donors gathered before making their way to the election night party at McCormick Place, loosening up with a few drinks and wondering what a second term would bring.

The so-called bundlers — those who’ve raised over $50,000 for the president — and their close friends said that Obama’s reelection was a “vindication” and gave him a “mandate” for the next four years.

“He doesn’t have to play to get reelected anymore, which is huge,” said Chicago supporter Jim Slama, who first met Obama in 2001. “It frees him to be who he is.”

Slama attended the evening’s festivities with a group of Chicago businesspeople who’d all known and supported the president since he was a state senator in Illinois.

“I’m hopeful,” said Slama. “He’ll try to play to the middle, but he’s got the Tea Party to deal with, and he can take out his baseball bat and wail away and he won’t have to worry about the implications of reelection.”

With the election of progressive Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Obama’s longtime backers feel the liberal spirit inside the president could be unleashed: climate change, gun control, and immigration reform perhaps heading to the top of the agenda. (After, that is, the “fiscal cliff.”)

Criag Sieben, another longtime Obama supporter, who once served on the campaign’s finance committee, reminisced about the 2008 campaign, what he called an “insurgency.”

“It was early April in 2007, and we were invited to a staff meeting at the headquarters in Chicago,” Sieben told BuzzFeed. “David Plouffe gave a briefing — he said, ‘The airplane is already taking off, and we’re building an airplane as we fly.’ It was one of those pinch-yourself moments, that you had the sense [it could happen.]”

Another bundler agreed — they were proud of what Obama had accomplished, and being from Chicago, felt protective of the president and his legacy.

At the Fairmont, the bundlers jumped on a bus from the hotel, outfitted to look like a trolley, as it made its way across town.

Also on board the trolley, the winner of the “spend election evening” with President Obama contest, Doug Hurst, a 32-year-old firefighter from Boulder, Colorado.

Hurst was selected to come to Chicago after he donated money twice.

How much did he give?

“Not much,” said Hurst, who was accompanied by his father. “I’m a firefighter.”

Hurst, who’d been put up at the Waldorf Astoria, met the president Tuesday morning at the Fairmont.

“I told him thanks for everything that he’s done,” Hurst said. “I appreciated everything he’s gone through the past four years.”

The donors got off the bus and walked through McCormick Place, entering two separate entrances: one for “special guests,” another for “honored guests.”

The rest of the evening was taken up with trips to concession stands and shouts of joy as each state was called out, the half dozen or more large televisions screens live-streaming CNN and MSNBC.

Inside the massive conference center, many Obama staffers frantically moved from one task to the other—staffing VIPs, escorting advisers up the risers to do cable hits, no time even to see if they were winning or losing.

“I haven’t had anytime to check,” said one staffer. “But I’m feeling really good about it.”

For many staffers, it was the first time they’d left the Obama campaign headquarters all day — on virtual lockdown, meals delivered from a local spot known as Manny’s.

Other White House and campaign officials stood around chatting, feeling more and more confident, not quite knowing what to do as one state after another was called for Obama.

After NBC declared Obama the victor, the convention space erupted in sustained cheers that lasted for at least four minutes.

Campaign spokesperson Ben Labolt, who’d been in the trenches on each day of the election cycle, calmly looked down to check his smartphone as the noise engulfed him.

“It came in a little bit earlier than expected, but the one thing that was notable today: There weren’t any big surprises, we never had to do some last minute redeployment of resources. The model that we had this thing on, young people showing up, the more diverse electorate than ever before [worked].”

After almost 18 months of campaigning, what was he going to do tomorrow?

“I’m going to start with a long nap,” Labolt said. “I guess if you can take naps in the morning, I’m going to take a nap.”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mhastings/democratic-victory-will-unleash-obama-top-backers

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Website Is Hosted On NYC Government Servers

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The website for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the anti-gun, pro-background check coalition of more than 950 mayors spearheaded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, is hosted on New York City government servers, according to blogger John Ekdahl and confirmed by BuzzFeed. The revelation puts the city and the group in an ambiguous legal and ethical conundrum.

Some experts from good government groups argued groups such as MAIG should be kept separate from government no matter what.

“Lobbying groups, no matter how laudable the cause they advocate for, should maintain and host their own websites,” John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, a group which advocates for technology and transparency in New York government, said in a statement. “If a web page is part of a mayoral or city initiative, it should be clearly labeled with the NYC logo so the public understands it belongs to their city government. If something isn’t a city initiative, its website shouldn’t be maintained and hosted by the city.”

But Bloomberg spokesman Marc La Vorgna said mayors have the right to decide what is in the best interest of the city and therefore there’s no conflict of interest in the city hosting the group’s website.

“Whoever is mayor of any city gets to decide what the legislative priorities are of that city on the local, state or federal level,” La Vorgna said.

Others pointed out that there is some ambiguity in the law, and it’s unclear whether there’s any legal violation or conflict of interest.

“It’s appearance raises questions,” said Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

A spokesperson from MAIG didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The extent to which city resources have been diverted to maintaining the website remains unclear, though an independent information technology expert estimated the website would cost roughly $1,000 a month to maintain.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/jacobfischler/mayors-against-illegal-guns-website-is-hosted-on-nyc-governm

Military Groups’ Argument About Obama Voting Lawsuit “Extremely Misleading,” Prof Says

Willie J. Allen Jr. / AP

The Obama campaign’s lawsuit to expand early, in-person voting in Ohio for all voters back to the 2008 presidential election rules hit a snag when fraternal military groups opposed the lawsuit because of the claimed possible future impact a ruling in the case could have on military voting.

At that point, the Romney campaign jumped in — and Obama advisor David Axelrod was left defending the campaign’s lawsuit to Chris Wallace on Fox News on Sunday.

Captain Sam Wright, a retired members Navy Judge Advocate General Corps who heads the Reserve Officers’ Association’s Service Members Law Center, told BuzzFeed on Sunday, “It MUST be constitutional to make accommodations for military voters that are not made for voters generally.”

University of Florida law professor and former Air Force officer Diane Mazur emailed in to disagree.

Of the fraternal military groups opposing the Obama campaign’s lawsuit, Mazur tells BuzzFeed, “Their arguments are extremely misleading and also damaging to military professionalism.” She goes on:

The primary confusion is between in-person and absentee voting. There is a long history of accommodation for military and overseas voters to vote by absentee ballot, and this is settled. I am unaware, however, of any prior attempt by states or the federal government to grant extra voting privileges to service members voting in person, not absentee. … The news reports ought to make more clear that this is a giant leap beyond any other kind of military voting accommodation. If you follow the statements of the military groups and Republican representatives closely, you’ll see that they glide back and forth between references to absentee and in-person voting, realizing that their in-person arguments are without precedent, and without justification.

Of the Democrats’ response to the criticism of the lawsuit by the Romney campaign and the military groups, Mazur writes:

The Democrats are sputtering in their explanations, and not doing a very good job of it, because they are afraid of the accusation. They could be more clear about what is going on, but they have no confidence it will be understood.

The idea that service members are fuller citizens than the rest of America is a disaster for military professionalism. Making reckless allegations that civilians are trying to disenfranchise service members is one of the most destructive things you can do to the military. That’s another message that is being lost here. We have raised a generation of service members and veterans who completely believe the falsehood that some civilians don’t want them to vote, and our civil-military relations are worse for it.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/military-groups-argument-about-obama-voting-lawsu

Could Max Baucus Save The Gun Bill?

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Max Baucus’ decision to resign could give gun control advocates a chance to revive their failed background-check legislation with a simple plan: Make it all about Baucus.

The legislation failed last week by six votes. One was Majority Leader Harry Reid, who voted no on procedural grounds. Among the others were North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who had reportedly signaled that she might be willing to cast a crucial 60th vote — but that she would not risk her career for a symbolic 57th. Similarly, it has been reported that the bill’s supporters had an unnamed Republican who might have voted for a winning bill but wouldn’t go down in flames with a losing one.

The bill failed, then, by well under six votes. And the nature of contested legislation is that senators may be willing to cast the 60th vote when they won’t cast the 59th. Were Baucus to shamelessly directly change his mind, he could well pass the bill.

Baucus has not exactly given eloquent defenses for his opposition to background checks. He explained his “no” vote to reporters with a single word: “Montana.”

He was also never a particular target for advocates, because his vote wasn’t considered in play.

“He was decidedly uninterested in it when we met,” Jen Bluestein, the communications director for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told my colleague Evan McMorris-Santoro. Baucus “seemed to be suggesting he didn’t believe the polls showing strong support for it among Montanans,” Bluestein said.

So what if that changed? It’s not something gun control advocates or the White House, currently licking their wounds, are considering, but it’s a provocative thought, and one that some senior Democrats have begun to weigh.

“The whole thing hinges on one guy now,” one top Democratic political operative suggested to me Tuesday. “If you want background checks, lock on to Max Baucus and do not let go.”

This is not, superficially, beyond the scope of imagination. Indeed, those of us who watched anything from the health care fight to the passage of marriage equality through the New York State Senate have seen what imaginative, muscular executives and legislative leaders can do. This White House saw its health care overhaul declared dead, then rise again. And there’s a hallowed path for this sort of reversal: Leadership could give Baucus and two more senators cover to switch their votes with a modest change to the legislation for which they could claim credit.

I should pause to note that people who watch the Senate closely — including my colleagues in BuzzFeed’s Washington bureau — tell me this is not likely to happen. My flight of fancy requires ignoring the fact that people close to Reid say he has no intention of putting the bill back on the floor, an extremely unusual move, and ignoring Baucus’ reputation for stubbornness.

But if there’s a consistent trend in the Senate, it’s that retiring senators often trade in one constituency for another. They stick with their adopted homes, taking lucrative lobbying jobs in the Capitol. They may not like the legislation in Montana. But how about the District of Columbia?

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/bensmith/could-max-baucus-save-the-gun-bill

The Online Right Is Freaking Awesome

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been attacked by some conservative bloggers as a traitor to my ideology, an enemy of the conservative movement, and a sell-out.

And all of it has let me to this completely earnest conclusion: The online right is freaking awesome.

Here’s the backstory. Last week I published an opinion piece at BuzzFeed about a conservative video that I believed was too campy and lacking of substance to be taken seriously. I laid out my criticisms and closed with my concerns that productions of this caliber would stigmatize conservative artists, thus making it more difficult for their work to get produced.

I expected some negative response, especially from the Tea Party Patriots who produced the video, and I knew some conservatives would take issue with my decision to write the piece for BuzzFeed, which is not exactly a card-carrying citizen of the conservative blogosphere.

What I did not expect was to be taken to the woodshed and told that what I’d done was tantamount to ideological treason. Yet that’s exactly what happened when the article first hit Twitter.

I had a few fellow bloggers tell me that they were unwilling to even click on the link, while others claimed that I’d become a pawn of some master plan by BuzzFeed to undo conservatism. John Nolte of Breitbart started by indicating he thought I’d been duped, saying BuzzFeed “manipulated review of a single conservative movie to trash the movement.” After I pushed back he was less kind, eventually implying I was implicit, saying it was “exactly like the old Big Hollywood days: pushing back against a media unfairly trashing fledgling con-artist movement.” The odd use of “con-artist” aside, it was stunning to find out I’d apparently become what Andrew Breitbart built his empire fighting.

I immediately began to think that I’d made a mistake and that my peers simply weren’t ready for conservative writers to expand beyond our “family” of friendly blogs. But before long, what I’d always known conservatives prided themselves on rang true, as people from all walks of the conservative blogosphere and grassroots activism jumped to my defense. For several days, they brought me on their podcasts and radio shows, wrote about the uproar and, possibly most importantly to my original purpose, agreed with both the venue choice and the substance of my article.

Despite the loud few that wanted to hang me in effigy, the vast majority seemed hungry for discussion and for varying opinions to be voiced in as many places as possible. Like me, they believed that conservatives do themselves a great disservice by hiding in a shell and talking only to one another. After all, if we’re right in what we believe, we should trust that the truth will win hearts and minds in any public forum, albeit with a careful eye on how we deliver it. As long as we can ensure that our opinions and arguments are not altered or manipulated, we can and should feel safe and, in some respects obligated, to take our beliefs outside of our self-imposed bubbles.

So far, BuzzFeed has graciously agreed not to edit my articles in a way that would create a false impression of my beliefs. Stunning, I know.

The events also caused me to reflect on why the conservative movement experiences so much success online. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the way events unfolded for me is simply not how it would’ve played out if the roles were reversed and it had been a left-of-center blogger condemning a Hollywood film with a liberal message.

Even when conservatives get it wrong and try to discredit an opinion like mine for being in the wrong venue, it’s still born from loyalty. They feel betrayed. As misguided as that feeling may be, it speaks volumes to the relationships on the right versus the left in web politics which thrive on loyalty and camaraderie.

In the conservative blogosphere, the lines between establishment old guard publications, powerful politicians, and “amateur” blogs are largely irrelevant. It’s an active, vibrant community that advocates open discussion and allows the conservative grassroots to stay in regular communication with the most influential players in the movement, and often the GOP.

Meanwhile, the liberal online community these days is so disjointed and disconnected that there appears to be no loyalty fostered between one another at all. When’s the last time you saw various liberal bloggers from Wonkette or Fire Dog Lake making an appeal to other liberal bloggers to join them in an effort to support one of their own? Or pitch in to send someone to a conference? Or work together to elect a candidate? Maybe it’s not about partisanship for them, or maybe they are so committed to their ideology that the idea of collective mission is alien. Ironic considering their views on government.

I follow these guys on twitter and I read their blogs (Of course I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a spork, but it’s part of my job description.) And mostly what I see is gutter sniping and whining. The real organization and unified purpose on the left comes from their seemingly endless supply of non-profits like Think Progress and Media Matters. To me, that indicates that their loyalty to one another is a product of pay, not common belief. Certainly there are nonprofits on the right, but while ours compliment a community compromised mostly of freelancers or unpaid bloggers, the left seems to take all of their cues from these billionaire funded groups. It’s the definition of astroturf.

The right on the other hand is blessed with community. At RedState you could just as easily find a link to Jim Geraghty at National Review as you could to Jim Jamitis at Anthropocon.com. The best part is that all three writers most likely know each other, and will share a drink next time they’re in town together. They work together. They’re colleagues. They’re friends.

And while that loyalty can occasionally result in suspicion of those of us who venture outside the bubble, more often the not, it enables thoughtful, important conversations to take place in the conservative movement.

How did the left get this so wrong? I have no idea. But after last week, I must say I’m grateful to have been reminded how conservatives have gotten this right.

This is why we can have nice things.

Ben Howe is an editor at RedState.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/benhowe/the-online-right-is-freaking-awesome1

New Group For Young Conservatives Looks To Drown Out GOP Cranks

A new organization for young conservatives will kick into gear next week with the express goal of “drowning out” the cranks and kooks who have “hijacked” the Republican Party, and converting a generation of dissatisfied Democrats and independents on college campuses across the country.

“The thesis of our organization is that young people are not liberal,” said Josh Nass, a Brandeis student and founder of the group, Voices of Conservative Youth. “They vote for Democrats but that is not a function of their genuine political philosophy. And that’s not their fault, it’s ours. The party and the leadership has given them no attention, has done nothing in terms of outreach, and we’re going to change that.”

Nass, who describes himself as a “21-year-old, ambitious, yet slightly insecure college kid,” said the group plans to build a national network of university chapters, maintain an active and aggressive social media presence, and work with a public relations firm to get young conservative activists on outlets like Comedy Central, MTV, and Univision. It has already collected a mailing list of 1,000 college students in the northeast, and predicts it will quickly balloon to 10,000 once it starts advertising itself online next week.

While the outreach they are doing is meant to fill the void left by Republican leaders, Nass stressed that they will break from the GOP establishment on key issues.

The most obvious example is that Voices of Conservative Youth supports marriage equality and plans to elevate conservatives like Stephanie Petelos, a college Republican who made headlines last week in Alabama for going to battle with party poobahs over comments she made about the marriage issue.

“I’ve been told by countless people not to do this — not because it wouldn’t improve the party’s image among young people, but because they said, ‘You’re gonna be met with a lot of resistance. You’re gonna create a lot of enemies for yourself,” Nass said. “And that’s true, but it will be all the right folks; the Ralph Reeds of the world, the Tony Perkins of the world, the people who have held the party back and have basically hijacked it.”

Nass pulled no punches in his assessment of the party’s failures, criticizing the Republican National Committee (“does a lot of talking”); Rick Santorum (“anyone who says he’s going to win the presidency needs to get their heads checked”); and the College Republicans, a group he abandoned citing its inability to recruit a single non-conservative to the cause.

But if Nass plans to upset certain elements of the party, he does have the support of at least one major GOP player: Sheldon Adelson. Nass, who proudly self-identifies as a “Zionist,” said he is close to the Jewish mega-donor and that Adelson has provided ample “moral support.” They even appear together in a photo on the group’s homepage. (Nass declined to comment on the organization’s donors.)

The riddle of coalition-building is one Republicans have been actively trying to solve since Election Day 2012, universally acknowledging the need to attract more young people, but disagreeing vehemently about how to do it. And while token outreach platforms — like The Daily Show and Twitter — have come up more than once, few have been as aggressive as Nass’ group about advocating for the elimination of certain planks in the party’s platform.

But Jimmy LaSalvia, the former executive director of the conservative gay organization GOProud and a board member for Voices of Conservative Youth, said embracing gay rights is an essential step the party must take.

“It’s especially important that conservative organizations recognize the world we live in today, and I am pleased that VOCY is making the effort to engage with young gay Americans because gay people are very much a part of America in 2013,” LaSalvia said.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/new-group-for-young-conservatives-looks-to-drown-out-gop-cra

Obama’s “Three Proud Words” Are Really Four Words

2. Reminds of this classic 2008 Biden gaffe:”A three letter word. Jobs. J-O-B-S. Jobs”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/obamas-three-proud-words-are-actually-four-word

Advocates Look For Gay Equality By Independence Day

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

WASHINGTON — If everything goes right for advocates of marriage equality, gay and lesbian couples everywhere could be celebrating their right to marry by the Fourth of July in 2013.

Eight years after opponents of same-sex couples’ marriage rights claimed state amendments banning such marriages helped keep President George W. Bush in the White House, marriage equality’s supporters now find themselves as close as they’ve ever come to their goal.

“We are now literally within months of getting a final resolution of this case that began three-and-a-half years ago,” said David Boies, one of the lawyers behind the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 that is now before the Supreme Court.

“We are all encouraged and excited about the prospect that we will finally get a decision on the merits with respect to marriage equality,” Boies, who joined former Bush administration Solicitor General Theodore Olson in bringing the suit on behalf of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, said Friday.

The stakes have never been higher for either side of the fight over marriage equality. By June, the Supreme Court could take bold action to strike down state constitutional provisions and laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, reminiscent of its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision ending mixed-race marriage bans. The court also could declare that the additional scrutiny now applied to laws based on race, religion or sex also must be used for those regarding sexual orientation.

The court also could do less than that, limiting its ruling to the Defense of Marriage Act’s federally defined “marriage” or California’s Proposition 8, allowing the patchwork of state-level laws governing the ability of couples to marry based on their sexual orientation to continue.

The high court even could declare that the Constitution grants no such right to gays and lesbians, essentially ending the chances of national answer on the marriage equality question for the foreseeable future.

Civil rights leaders, though, are opting instead to focus on the possibility, echoed throughout America’s history, that the nation could be on a path toward greater equality.

“Today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said Friday. “As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past.”

Griffin, now running the nation’s largest LGBT political group, knows the stakes of Friday’s news: He was the person who recruited Olson and Boies to challenge Proposition 8 in federal court.

Unquestionably, the country is undergoing a dramatic change in the way it views gay rights in an unbelievably short time.

Several lower courts have recognized equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. State legislatures have passed marriage equality bills from Washington and Maryland — where same-sex couples will soon wed — to New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie ultimately vetoed the bill. Voters in four states sided with marriage equality supporters in related measures this past month.

The people — from judges to lawmakers to voters — are starting to sort out an issue that less than 20 years ago appeared to be on a much slower path toward any resolution.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

When President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in September 1996 — though “strenuously opposed” to “discrimination of any kind” — he stated, “I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position.” His position, far from conservative, was easily the mainstream position. Only 14 Senate Democrats opposed the bill, and nowhere in the country would even recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry for another seven years.

When President Obama declared his views on marriage had “evolved” in May of this year, however, he said, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Far from being a liberal position, polls suggest that his view was, again, the mainstream position. Of course, Clinton already had since “evolved” to oppose DOMA and support marriage equality. Even Bob Barr, the former House Republican who sponsored DOMA in 1996, has become a supporter of marriage equality.

The Supreme Court, while not subject to voters’ whims, still exists within the larger political environment of the nation. Friday’s announcement that the justices will be considering whether both DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 are constitutional means the high court will find itself squarely in the middle of LGBT advocates’ path to equality. And that means the nine justices will choose either to stand in the way of recent successes or to give that progress a push forward.

“I think that it is going to be so important for the United States Supreme Court to address the merits here,” Olson said Friday.

For Olson, the path to being a key advocate for marriage equality has, like the nation’s attitudes, been circuitous: the man who served as President George W. Bush’s top Supreme Court lawyer is now the lead lawyer for the two same-sex couples suing to ask the court to declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Far from part of a broader political realignment, Olson has remained true to his conservative roots. He helped Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a staunch opponent of marriage equality, prepare for the vice presidential debate this past fall, even as he has aggressively put himself out as a leading national supporter of marriage equality.

“It will be an education for the American people,” Olson said of the coming arguments over the California amendment. “We are very confident the outcome of this case will be to support the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”

Likewise, attorneys working on the Defense of Marriage Act case were upbeat about their prospects — and aware of the implications.

The DOMA challenge that the Supreme Court will be hearing is a story that spans the gay rights movement in America. It is the story of a couple — Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer — who met, dated and were engaged to one another in the years before the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn.

After 40 years, the two were finally married in 2007. When Spyer died two years later, though, Windsor had to pay a $350,000 estate tax bill that she would not have owed if either had been a man.

Roberta Kaplan, the lead attorney arguing along with the American Civil Liberties Union on Windsor’s behalf, said Friday night, “Edie is absolutely thrilled that it is her case that will be before the United States Supreme Court. And we are as well. Edie’s life story, both before and after her life with her late spouse Thea Spyer, compellingly reflects both how dramatically things have changed for gay people in our country and how discriminatory and unconstitutional DOMA really is.”

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The court’s decision to take on the issue itself may even be having an effect on the political terrain, with LGBT advocates suggesting they will spend the next six months doing all they can to improve Olson and Kaplan’s cases to the Supreme Court.

At Freedom to Marry, founder and president Evan Wolfson was blunt on Friday. “By winning more states and winning over more hearts and minds, we maximize our chances of victory in court, showing the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.” Indeed, Freedom to Marry, HRC and other advocates already have met with groups in Rhode Island to strategize on a marriage equality bill’s path there, and a similar bill is expected early in the year in Illinois. And activists are planning to launch campaigns in more states in the coming months.

Of course, the private reaction from civil rights advocates Friday was not all positive. Some had hoped the Supreme Court, for now, would avoid the larger issue of marriage equality and instead focus on federal prohibitions of recognizing same-sex couples legally married by a state.

That building-block strategy is similar to previous civil rights fights and was the aim of the established LGBT legal groups until the American Foundation for Equal Rights filed its challenge to California’s Proposition 8, a move that greatly accelerated the legal fight.

Like leaders of the civil rights movement fighting for racial equality a half-century ago, the established LGBT groups worried forcing the issue could result in court decisions that would put the movement back decades, and Friday’s news of the high court’s decision again raised those concerns, at least privately.

Publicly, though, the front is unified and the forces are pushing for victory at the Supreme Court. From now through the day the Supreme Court decides these two cases, LGBT advocates will try to keep together that front — knowing these cases are setting the course of their movement for decades to come.

Kaplan already is at work. Asked on Friday night what striking down DOMA’s federal marriage definition would mean, she responded, “It would mean that there would no longer be any such thing as second-class citizenship for gay married couples in our country — that all married couples, whether gay or straight, would be treated equally under the law, as our Constitution requires.”

By Independence Day, the justices likely will have told the nation if they agree.

[Correction: This story initially stated that an adverse ruling in the cases would “essentially [end] the fight over marriage equality for the foreseeable future.” Work at the state level would still be possible, however, so the portion now reads that an adverse ruling would “essentially [end] the chances of a national answer on the marriage equality question for the foreseeable future.”]

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/advocates-look-for-gay-equality-by-independence-da