More than 200 lawyers across Georgia came together to thumb their noses at the state's gay marriage ban and offer this legal analysis: The ban sucks.
The chorus of legal experts and political analysts chiming in that Georgia's prohibition on same-sex marriages is doomed has grown louder since a nationwide marriage equality effort launched earlier this year in Atlanta with an assist from Mayor Kasim Reed. Now, some 206 attorneys signed a pledge saying agreeing, according to a list announced on Friday.
Today, Southerners for the Freedom to Marry – in partnership with Georgia Equality – launched a pledge signed by 206 lawyers who support the freedom of same-sex couples in Georgia to marry. The attorneys cite the constitutional provisions of liberty and equality under the law for all residents.
The pledge doesn't mince words.
"As proud members of Georgia’s legal community, we believe that allowing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples is crucial to fulfilling the promise of liberty and equality for all of Georgia’s residents. All Americans, regardless of whom they love, deserve to be treated equally under the law."
What prominent attorney didn't sign on? Attorney General Sam Olens, who dug in his conservative heels and pledged to defend against a lawsuit challenging it. The lawyers who signed the pledge argue that Olens shouldn't bother.
“My understanding of the constitutional right of all Americans to equal treatment under the law certainly includes the fundamental freedom of couples to marry. I find this view to be entirely consistent with my strong belief in conservative principles like individual liberty, limited government, and the social importance of strong families,” said Lynn Hogue, Professor of Law Emeritus at Georgia State University and pledge signer.
The pledge snagged legal heavyweights.
Other notable signers include American constitutional law expert Michael J. Perry, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University, and Georgia State University College of Law Family Law Professor Tanya Washington who added: “These laws that purportedly defend marriage do so at the expense of children. I support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples because it will ensure that greater numbers of children will be raised in families and have relationships with their parents that enjoy the full recognition of the law."
Atlanta attorney Page Pate hasn't signed the pledge yet. But he agrees that the fate of the state's gay marriage ban is doomed.