Two different marriage bans, both wrong
June 12, 2013 -- Updated 1148 GMT (1948 HKT)
A same-sex couple exchange wedding rings at their marriage ceremony.
- 46 years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a ban on interracial marriage
- Donna Brazile: Supreme Court can knock down another unconstitutional barrier
- Court must rule gays, lesbians are entitled to same rights as everyone else, she says
- Brazile: Justices can stand up for equality by striking down bans on same sex marriage
Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pot in America." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.
(CNN) -- Today is the 46th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared unconstitutional any ban on interracial marriage. More than four decades after the historic and aptly named Loving decision, the U.S. Supreme Court is once again poised to rule in a case that could put an end to discriminatory bans prohibiting marriage, this time for gay and lesbian couples.
This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in a decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a case brought by two California couples challenging the constitutionality of the state's ban on same sex marriages, commonly called Prop 8. Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies -- a Republican and Democrat best known for battling each other before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore -- have teamed up and taken the Perry case beyond California.
Supreme Court looks at same-sex marriage
Isn't France liberal on sexual issues?
Olson and Boies argued before the justices that the Supreme Court has the obligation under the Constitution to strike down not just Prop 8, but all state laws banning marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans. After all, they say, this is precisely how the court ruled in Loving -- and 13 other cases dating back to 1888 in which a majority of the justices stood up to protect the fundamental right of every American to marry the person he or she loves.
A broad ruling in the Perry case this month would be a historic step forward in affirming that gay Americans are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. Although I firmly believe public opinion is irrelevant to the court's responsibility to ensure equality under the law, our nation is clearly ready to embrace marriage equality.
When the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans in 1967, a Gallup poll found that only 20% of Americans approved of such marriages. But the court fulfilled its duty to protect individual rights without regard to what was popular.
Today, we have already have evolved much further on marriage equality. A growing bipartisan majority of voters -- 58% -- support marriage rights for same-sex couples.
When Richard Loving told his lawyer to "tell the court I love my wife," he could not have known that his words would still be applicable 46 years later in the very same courtroom. There is never a wrong time to stand up for justice and equality, but the time has never been more right to stand up for gay rights than in the Perry case.
As the Supreme Court weighs equality for gay and lesbian couples, the anniversary of Loving provides a timely reminder of a new legacy they could write for the history books.
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Donna Brazile.
Part of complete coverage on
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1900 GMT (0300 HKT)
Jim Martin says many of Pope Francis' words and deeds that have so surprised the world flow naturally from his Jesuit background
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Jonathan Guryan and Jens Ludwig say the idea that poverty keeps adolescents from thriving academically is upended by a Chicago tutoring program that shows why educators shouldn't give up
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
Peter Bergen says the senator's charges against the CIA must be taken seriously
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Sally Kohn went to the music festival and found out how guitars can save lives
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Peggy Drexler says Sheryl Sandberg's "Ban Bossy" campaign is better off if it tries to reclaim the positive aspect of the word.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1918 GMT (0318 HKT)
David Frum says the warning for conservatives is: Millennial attachment to the Democratic Party is not a phase.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1732 GMT (0132 HKT)
Brian Havel says passengers boarding a flight with stolen passports shows the need for global coordination and standardized procedures for travel documentation
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1211 GMT (2011 HKT)
Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says the U.S. risks getting outmaneuvered in the Middle East
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Laurence Steinberg says efforts like Obama's My Brother's Keeper" are noble, but a key to helping young black men is fixing a justice system that disproportionately puts them in jail
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Julianne Wurm says people need to take charge of the avalanche of requests they get and set priorities
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
A man was convicted of raping a woman with Down syndrome, and the judge overturned it saying she didn't act like a victim. David Perry says all rape victims can be subject to this kind of dismissal
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
Peter Bergen says wild theories often flourish after a passenger jet disaster; it's best to wait for an investigation
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Pilot Bill Palmer says the investigation of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be long and complicated
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1837 GMT (0237 HKT)
Alexander Pourbaix says the Keystone XL pipeline is safe and would provide the U.S. with oil from a reliable nation. He says it's the responsible path forward
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1709 GMT (0109 HKT)
David Wheeler says embarrassing and out-of-context Web ads are affecting nearly everyone who uses the Internet.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Kirk Bloodsworth says DNA cleared him after eight years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He is living proof, he says, that America's system of capital punishment is broken beyond repair.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
President Putin's endgame in Crimea is now clear—and the West has only a few days to act, writes Daniel Treisman.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Melinda Gates says data is not boring; it is a powerful tool in targeting assistance to women and girls, and making the case to world leaders that empowering women makes a difference.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Bob Greene says doctors are distracted by their computer screens when they should be giving patients precious face-to-face time
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1600 GMT (0000 HKT)
Sandra Fluke says for her generation, issues that matter are gender-related violence, education and economic equality.
Today's five most popular stories