civil rights

It has been four months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling paved the way for thousands of same-sex married couples to receive federal benefits, and a special group of government lawyers has been working to make that happen.

Wilson Sayre

More than 60 activists huddled in the shade during a rally on Sunday in support of an amendment to the Miami-Dade County human rights ordinance. They were joined by faith leaders including Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Unity on the Bay and All Souls' Episcopal Church.

Tsitsi Wakhisi

For the hundreds of thousands of people who participated in the 1963 March on Washington, many can recount the moving moments of that day.

But for a particular group of four ladies, the impact of the event is still profoundly felt decades later. All were young teens at the time of Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, but didn’t attend the march.

President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.

That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.

Bob Adelman

Editor's Note: Below are Americans with South Florida connections who went to hear the Rev. Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous "I Have A Dream" speech in Washington, D.C., one of the most significant civil rights events in history.  Their bios are compiled from public and private sources. Listen to what they have to say. 


Miami Groups Gear Up For March On Washington Anniversary

Aug 19, 2013
Patience Haggin

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, local groups staged a “Pre-March on Miami” on Sunday.

About 200 people marched through a neighborhood in West Little River singing spirituals. The event was organized by the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

Two Fort Lauderdale men are the first wedded same-sex couple recognized by the United States for a green card, winning their immigration battle two days after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to honor gay marriages.

“We’re in the history books,” said Julian Marsh, a well-known gay music producer and DJ, who sponsored his Bulgarian-born husband, Traian “Tray” Popov, for a green card. “Oh my God, that’s totally amazing.”



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

This was a week of big Supreme Court decisions which will have long-lasting implications and are also certain to present plenty of opportunities for partisan politics.

NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us now to talk it through.

Hello, Mara.


The dual victories the Supreme Court handed to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.

For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Amy Sherman

The Defense of Marriage Act has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States on the basis of equal protection.

The 5-4 ruling came down at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, sending waves of excitement across the nation.

Initial reactions online were lively comments from liberals who saw this legal development as the end of an era: