AFA Reacts To Prop 8 News

The lying headline is just the start.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

California Supreme Court Accepts Prop 8 Question

The California Supreme Court has decided to accept the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals request to decide whether the Defendant-Intervenor’s in Perry v Schwarzenegger (the Proposition 8 case) have standing under California law to act as defendants in the case.

As the notice says, oral arguments are estimated to be heard sometime in September of 2011. That would mean a decision would not be likely until some time in 2012 December, 2011 (California law gives appellate courts three months to decide a case after oral arguments). That would mean the case would not get back to the Ninth Circuit until some time after that, probably in 2012. When they would issue an opinion on standing and/or an opinion of the actual case (whether Proposition 8 violates the US Constitution) is anyone’s guess.

In any case any decision is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which would not likely hear the case until late 2012 or 2013.

One thing is clear: Marriage equality (or denial of marriage equality) in California via the courts is a long, long way off.

The request, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is granted. For the purposes of briefing and oral argument, defendant-intervenors Dennis Hollingsworth, Gail J. Knight, Martin F. Gutierrez, Mark A. Jansson, and ProtectMarriage.com (collectively “Proponents”) are deemed the petitioners in this court. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.520(a)(6).) In order to facilitate expedited consideration and resolution of the issues presented, and to accommodate oral argument in this matter as early as September, 2011, the normal briefing schedule is shortened, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.68, as follows: The opening brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, March 14, 2011. The answer brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, April 4. A reply brief may be served and filed on or before Monday, April 18. Any person or entity wishing to file an amicus curiae brief must file an application for permission to file such brief, accompanied by the proposed brief, on or before Monday, May 2, 2011. Any party may serve and file an omnibus reply to any or all amicus curiae briefs on or before Monday, May 9, 2011. The court does not contemplate any extension of the above deadlines. Votes: Cantil-Sakauye, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.

Perry v Schwarzenegger

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Prop 8 Reactions

Lambda Legal

“Because the federal appeals judges said they need clarification, we look forward to a decision by the California Supreme Court confirming that initiative proponents lack legal standing to continue the Perry case. They are not law enforcers, and have the same limited rights as everyone else to litigate only when their own rights are at stake, not merely to assert their opinions about others’ rights.” Initiative proponents also cannot step into the shoes of the attorney general, the governor or other state officials. The reason for this is basic: the governor and attorney general are elected by the people to represent all the people, not just one point of view on one issue, out of countless, competing concerns. Most importantly, state officials swear an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions, including their abiding promises of equal protection and due process for everyone. Initiative proponents take no such oath, and have no such duties.

AFER

“More than six months ago, the federal district court declared unequivocally that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and that it causes grave harm to gay and lesbian couples and their families each day that it is in effect. We look forward to assisting the California Supreme Court reach an answer to the question before them so that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals can affirm the district court’s ruling and end the state-sanctioned discrimination of Prop. 8. The American Foundation for Equal Rights is committed to achieving the freedom to marry for all Americans. We look forward to taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which 14 times before has declared that marriage is a fundamental right for every American.”

NCLR

For same-sex couples waiting to marry, and for all LGBT Californians waiting to be treated as equal citizens, the knowledge that they must endure further delay is incredibly painful and frustrating. Prop 8 should never have been permitted on the ballot. The rights of a minority should never be put to a popular vote. Prop 8 was a toxic, anti-democratic measure that continues to wreak havoc in the lives of real people and families. The court should move as quickly as possible to resolve this issue. It is clear that California law does not give initiative proponents the power to override elected state officials who have decided not to appeal a federal court decision holding that a challenged state law is unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court should rule accordingly, and the Ninth Circuit should affirm Judge Walker’s ruling. Prop 8 is blatantly unconstitutional, and it is past time for it to be gone.

Equality California

For same-sex couples waiting to marry, and for all LGBT Californians waiting to be treated as equal citizens, the knowledge that they must endure further delay is incredibly painful and frustrating. Prop 8 should never have been permitted on the ballot. The rights of a minority should never be put to a popular vote. Prop 8 was a toxic, anti-democratic measure that continues to wreak havoc in the lives of real people and families. The court should move as quickly as possible to resolve this issue. It is clear that California law does not give initiative proponents the power to override elected state officials who have decided not to appeal a federal court decision holding that a challenged state law is unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court should rule accordingly, and the Ninth Circuit should affirm Judge Walker’s ruling. Prop 8 is blatantly unconstitutional, and it is past time for it to be gone.

Courage Campaign

“Today’s California Supreme Court ruling does not change the fact that a federal court has ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, but it does mean that thousands of loving LGBT families remain in legal limbo—unable to exercise their constitutional right to access the security and recognition that only comes with marriage. It is unfortunate that while many California families are able to marry at a time and place of their choosing, equally loving LGBT families must endure months and years of legal uncertainty. They have waited long enough. That is why we are asking the California Supreme Court to move expeditiously to resolve the standing question once and for all. And we are confident that no matter what their decision, Judge Walker’s ruling will ultimately be upheld and the days of second class citizenship for thousands of California families will be relegated to the dustbin of history.”

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

California Supreme Court will hold hearing on standing issue in Prop. 8 case

Twitter is abuzz with the news that the California Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the standing issue in the Prop. 8 case.

From AFER:

BREAKING: Calif. Supreme Court to hear #Prop8 case with expedited schedule. Oral arguments as soon as Sept 2011.

One thing is clear: this case about marriage equality will be front and center during the 2012 presidential campaign. Background on what all of this means here. And, we’ll post more as we get more info. I expect we’ll see a statement from AFER — and that’s the one that matters.

UPDATE @ 6:16 PM: And, here’s that statement from AFER:

Statement by the American Foundation for Equal Rights on California Supreme Court Response to Ninth Circuit

Los Angeles, CA – American Foundation for Equal Rights Board President Chad Griffin issued the following statement regarding the California Supreme Court’s response to the question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case:

“More than six months ago, the federal district court declared unequivocally that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and that it causes grave harm to gay and lesbian couples and their families each day that it is in effect. We look forward to assisting the California Supreme Court reach an answer to the question before them as soon as possible so that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals can affirm the district court’s ruling and end the state-sanctioned discrimination of Prop. 8. We are hopeful that the California Supreme Court will also consider further expediting this matter so that it could be argued before the summer.

“The American Foundation for Equal Rights is committed to achieving the freedom to marry for all Americans. We look forward to taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which 14 times before has declared that marriage is a fundamental right for every American.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

♪ My gift is my song and this one’s for [raising a Brink's truck of cash to beat Prop 8] ♪

Elton John-2A good move from the Piano Man, as reported by The New York Times:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — He walked on stage in sunglasses, an earring glittering in one ear. The days of jumping on piano benches were presumably behind him. Still, in 16 songs that lasted more than 90 minutes Wednesday night, Sir Elton John offered a robust private concert to a relatively intimate audience gathered under a tent on an estate in the Hollywood Hills on a cool California evening.

The cause for this fundraiser — extravagant even when measured against Hollywood events — was the legal fight to overturn Proposition 8, the California voter initiative that banned gay marriage. At the end of the night, as the crowd headed to a long line of waiting limousines and shuttle vans, Rob Reiner, the director and a leader of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, announced that the event had raised million.

KEEP READING: Elton John Plays Calif. Benefit to Back Gay Marriage [New York Times]

(H/t: Towle)

It’s of course great that we’re raising these funds. But once again, we can’t help but be astounded by the ever-escalating zeroes that are so indelibly written on marital bias’ price tag. mil here, a couple more million there — it’s craziness! We’re talking about something that should be as free as it is fair!

The mental expenditures, the ancillaries that come with having to protect our families through alternate means, the opportunity cost of putting other things on hold to fight this fight, and of course the literal monetary asking price. That’s a lot of toll for a “culture war” so bereft of purpose.




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Matt Barber: Prop 8 strategy built on PR. I know, I was there

We all know that “protect marriage” rhetoric is a carefully focused group notion mention to cover up the discriminatory truth attached to all anti-LGBT campaigns. And more and more, we’re hearing rogue members of the “pro-family” movement admit as much:



*SOURCE: AFTAH

You gotta admire the loose lips, if not the intent on sinking our ships.




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Video: Just like the Prop 8 trial, except not at all

Just an afternoon brain break. Because, well — who doesn’t need one right about now?




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Fundies warn that if Prop 8 is struck down, an earthquake will take out California

My West Coast peeps, be prepared for a wild ride courtesy of the Man Upstairs — based on the prayer alert detailed by fundies Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce. Apparently the Heaven Hotline they are privy to has death and destruction on the way based on a possible earthly legal ruling (via Right Wing Watch). Please protect thy keyboards…

Yesterday, January 4th, I was called by a key intercessor in Santa Ynez. (Please note as you proceed, yesterday was the same day prop 8 was sent to the California Supreme Court) She reported two visions from separate individuals in the area:

A pastor of a large Nazarene Church had a dream of a very large earthquake on the central coast. He shared this at the Christmas gathering for all the Santa Maria Pastors and 5 cities area. Because of the destruction and intensity of the quake he thought he should tell the Pastors so they could pray into it.

Another intercessor in the area had a dream and saw a map of California. She noticed on the map how Pt. Conception juts out into the water. As she looked she saw an 8 with a circle beside it in the waters off Pt Conception.

Regarding these dreams the issue of 8 is significant: Yesterday, January 4th, Prop 8 went to the California Supreme Court … Prop 8 is a foundational covenant issue, i.e. issue of marriage, in the state. If the state supreme court does not uphold it, a covenant issue is broken with God. Judgment is looming. Also, of note yesterday it was announced on the radio and sent to me by another intercessor that in San Diego, there is a Korean war memorial. A judge has ruled that a cross that was dedicated in the 1950′s, cannot be there, as it is, because it stands for the the government embracing “a religion”. The implication was that it had to be “modified”. She stated in her note to me, “the MOMENT I heard this I had a “sinking feeling” in my heart and said out loud in my car. God will not contend this any longer, judgment is coming.”

Many are feeling the weight of this hour and time. There has been a very real assignment of death and destruction as many have faced health issues, even serious ones. We are at a critical “hinge point” and much will depend on our prayers and actions now. An earthquake from Point Conception would divide impact the state in three major fault lines and could potentially divide the state in half. We pray this stirs your hearts towards God’s purposes. Our hope and trust is in Him.

Have they telephoned Gov. Brown to put out a warning to residents yet? FYI, Cindy Jacobs also claims to be able to cast out “gay demons.”

During an October 7, 2008 evening ceremony at the conference Jacobs conducted a mass exorcism, casting out not only “spirits” of homosexuality but also spirits of pornography, addiction, lust, bisexuality, and perversion. [below: exorcism of "homosexual spirits" begins 40 seconds into video]


Pierce, on the other hand, claims even greater powers. Apparently he and other “prophetic interceptors” were key players in the capture of Saddam Hussein, documented in his book “The Future War of the Church: How We Can Defeat Lawlessness and Bring God’s Order to the Earth.”
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Extension Cord: ‘Father of Prop 8′ increases reach

Cordileone-worked-with-NOMMany major players who publicly pushed for discrimination in California during the summer of 2008 cite Bishop Salvatore Cordileone as the “Father of Prop 8.” Now, the U.S. Catholic bishop’s conference hopes to take his “protect marriage” paternity national.

This from Catholic News Agency:

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2011 / 12:43 am (CNA).- The new president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, announced Jan. 5 that he appointed Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, California as chairman of the conference’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.

Bishop Cordileone succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who was elected vice president of the conference at the bishops’ assembly in Baltimore this past November.



Bishop Cordileone also serves as a member of the bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.

During his time as the Bishop of Oakland he has worked to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. His work has been high profile because of the adoption of Proposition 8—the successful ballot initiative that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman—and subsequent legal efforts to overturn it.

California bishop appointed chairman for Marriage Defense Committee [CNA]

It’s astounding how much longevity so many people are wringing out of these anti-equality careers. Don’t get us wrong — We’re certainly glad they’re all gigging in this tough job market. Though if they could find a way to file a tax return that didn’t unfairly force us to wear a scapegoat costume? Well, that’d be cool too.




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NCLR Legal Analysis Of The Ninth Circuit Prop 8 Ruling

BLEND EXCLUSIVE: Trial analysis by the National Center For Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Attorney Shannon Minter.


By Shannon Minter, Esq.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director

Today brings a new development in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to strip same-sex couples of the freedom to marry.  Thumbnail Link: NCLR's Legal Director Shannon MinterPerry is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court that covers California. In a ruling issued this morning, the Ninth Circuit denied Imperial County’s attempt to intervene in the case. The Ninth Circuit also asked the California Supreme Court to clarify whether, under California law, the group that placed Prop 8 on the ballot has a legal right to appeal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

To understand what today’s ruling means, it is helpful to look back on the history of the Perry case. In May 2009, two same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Walker permitted Prop 8′s official supporters to intervene in the case as defendants, and also permitted the City and County of San Francisco to intervene as a plaintiff to represent its unique governmental interest in marriage equality. On the eve of trial, Imperial County also filed a motion asking to intervene in the case as a defendant.

After a three-week trial in January 2010, Judge Walker ruled in August 2010 that Prop 8 violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. Judge Walker also ruled that Imperial County did not have the right to intervene as a defendant.

California’s Governor and Attorney General decided not to appeal that ruling because they agreed that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. The supporters of Prop 8 and Imperial County both filed appeals with the Ninth Circuit.

At oral argument on December 6, 2010, the Ninth Circuit panel asked all sides questions about whether the official supporters of Prop 8 have the legal right to appeal Judge Walker’s decision. The parties also addressed whether Imperial County should have been allowed to intervene in the case as a defendant.

Today, the Ninth Circuit panel upheld Judge Walker’s decision not to allow Imperial County or its Deputy Clerk to intervene in the case. In order to intervene, Imperial County would have needed to show that it had a significant interest at stake. The Ninth Circuit explained in today’s opinion that Imperial County did not have any interests that would be sufficiently affected by the outcome of this lawsuit.

In addition, the Ninth Circuit made clear in today’s ruling that if the supporters of Prop 8 do not have the legal right to appeal Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, the appeal is over. In order to answer that question, the Ninth Circuit has asked the California Supreme Court to clarify whether California law gives Prop 8′s supporters the right to pursue an appeal when the state’s official representatives, after carefully evaluating the interests of the entire state, have made a considered decision not to appeal.

Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit must decide whether the Prop 8 supporters have a right to appeal under federal law – that is, whether they have “standing” to appeal.  The California Supreme Court may hold that California law does not give initiative sponsors the right to override the litigation decisions of the state’s official representatives.  If so, then the Ninth Circuit likely will hold that the Prop 8 supporters do not have standing.  That would mean that the Ninth Circuit would dismiss the appeal, Judge Walker’s ruling would stand, and same-sex couples would once again be able to marry in California.  

Alternatively, if the California Supreme Court were to hold that California law gives initiative sponsors the extraordinary power to bring an appeal over the objections of the Attorney General and the Governor, the Ninth Circuit would still have to decide whether Prop 8′s supporters meet all of the other criteria to have standing under federal law.  If it ultimately holds that the Prop 8 supporters have standing, then the Ninth Circuit could reach the merits of Judge Walker’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.      

The next step after today’s ruling is for the California Supreme Court to decide whether it will accept the Ninth Circuit’s request. If it does so, it will then get briefs from both sides, and might hear oral argument as well before ruling. There is no set timeline for the California Supreme Court to rule.  In previous cases, it has taken the California Supreme Court up to two years to answer a question sent to it by the Ninth Circuit. Given the importance of this case and the real harm that inequality causes to LGBT people every day, however, we are hopeful that the Court will act quickly to restore fairness and equality for same-sex couples in California.

~~~~~

Related:

* Visit the Blend for exclusive legal analysis of Federal Prop 8 trial by NCLR

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 1

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 2

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 3

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 4

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 5

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 6

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 7

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 8

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 9

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 10

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 11

* Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 12

* Key commentary from the PHB Shannon Minter live blog on the fed Prop 8 trial

* NCLR Analysis: Closing Arguments For Perry v. Schwarzenegger

* NCLR Analysis: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Ruling

* NCLR Analysis: Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Hearing On Perry v. Schwarzenegger
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