Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage Advocates Wage State-Level Fights

Trying to take advantage of momentum

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Gay-marriage advocates, emboldened by a landmark Supreme Court ruling, are enlisting students in New Jersey, black pastors in Illinois and Filipinos in Hawaii to try to convince legislators that history is on their side.

The three states, which already allow civil unions, are the next battlegrounds in an all-out push by civil rights coalitions to legalize same-sex marriage and expand on last month's victory in the nation's highest court. The justices, taking up gay nuptials for the first time, struck down a U.S. law that denied federal benefits to same-sex married couples and cleared the way for weddings to resume in California.

"We're really preparing to be in a position to capitalize on all the momentum we have," said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for New York-based Freedom to Marry. "We want to win the next eight to 10 states as quickly as possible."