On the other side of the issue, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said, "You have almost every avenue of elite power saying it's inevitable, might as well give up the fight. Why would you not expect some shift? What I'm surprised by is, given the massive amount of capital and power that's been exerted on this issue, a majority of Americans still support traditional marriage."
Brown pointed to a recent Politico poll of likely voters in hotly contested congressional and Senate races, which are taking place mainly in more conservative states. That survey found 52 percent of respondents opposed to same-sex marriage. The latest Gallup poll says 55 percent of Americans support it.
Ryan Anderson, a Heritage Foundation fellow and co-author of a book defending the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, said Supreme Court justices ultimately will have to wrestle with whether they want to impose same-sex marriage throughout the country. "Why rush in to put in a 50-state solution, when we can let the laboratories of democracy, the states, work things out?" Anderson said.
But those same arguments have been made in courtrooms across the country, with no success since the Windsor decision.
The run of courtroom victories for same-sex marriage has somewhat obscured other gay rights battles, including efforts to bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"There's a difference between having a marriage license and feeling comfortable enough to put a picture of your spouse on your desk," said Dave Montez of One Colorado, a gay-rights advocacy group.
Riccardi reported from Denver.
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