Whatcha doing on Tuesday, April 28? I’ll pause here for however many thumb taps, finger swipes or page flicks it takes to check your calendar. Nothing? No idea what’s happening that date? Any guesses?
No, it’s not the launch date for Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda’s new sitcom, which doesn’t premier on Netflix until May 8. Awesome, and worth noting in your date book, but not the correct answer.
If you guessed that it’s one of Wifey’s and my many anniversaries, you’re getting warmer. It’s not, but it easily could be. FYI, our anniversaries are: Nov. 21, 1987, our “Did It” date; April 24, 1993, our March on Washington wedding (symbolic only); June 21, 1998, our Big Fat Jewish wedding (Rabbi approved); March 21, 2007, our legal wedding in Canada (not recognized in Oregon); our Feb. 4, 2008, Oregon domestic partnership registration (legal, but only marriage-lite); and May 9, 2014, the day Oregon overturned its one-man-one-woman constitutional amendment and marriage equality came to our state (woo hoo!). All celebration-worthy dates, but still not the answer.
OK, give up? April 28 is the date the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the freedom to marry. Yep, this is it. The Big One. The long-awaited “all the way to the Supreme Court” event we’ve barely had the chutzpah to expect in our lifetime. And now it’s nearly here. On April 28, the nine justices will listen to two and a half hours of finely tuned arguments from lawyers on both sides of the marriage equality issue. You can bet these attorneys will be bringing their A-game.
I wanna watch! But no, sorry, no video streaming. OK, then, I wanna listen! Nope, sorry again, no live-streamed audio either. Looks like we’ll have to settle for audio recordings and transcripts of the proceedings, both of which are set to be released on April 28 at 2 pm EDT — that’s 11 am for us West Coasties.
This is the only time since the Supremes’ term began last October that the court has agreed to the quick-release of audio recordings, which, because it allows the public the earliest eavesdropping on the pro and con rationales for the freedom to marry, I take as a good a sign. “Reasons” for denying queer Americans this fundamental right simply don’t hold up under scrutiny of law, and the sooner the homophobes’ bumbling arguments are exposed the better. And 11 am on April 28 is the soonest we’re going to get.
On that last Tuesday morning in April, we have the amazing opportunity of witnessing — or as close to witnessing as they’ll let us — this ginormously monumental big-deal event. It’s the culmination of our decades-long struggle to have our country’s highest court decide for the entire nation once and for all whether everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, has the right to marry. The justices will listen to the oral arguments then go off to deliberate and make their decision — due sometime before the end of June.
Don’t you want to hear all the clearest and most carefully crafted arguments, the strongest distilled essence of why we all should (or shouldn’t) be treated equally under the law? April 28 is the date. And for god’s (goddess’) sake, put it on your calendar.