BREAKING: Schwarzenegger Files Motion To Immediately Resume Gay Marriages

WOW. The governator has totally done the unexpected.

In an extraordinary court filing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked Friday that gay marriages be allowed to resume immediately in California after a federal ruling that the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The Republican governor filed his brief with U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker before a Friday deadline to submit arguments on whether to continue a stay of Walker’s decision against Proposition 8. “The Administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the Court’s judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California,” wrote Kenneth C. Mennemeier, an attorney representing Schwarzenegger, in the brief. “Doing so is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect.”

UPDATE: Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a motion opposing an extension of Judge Walker’s stay.
2010.08.06 AG. Opp to Def Mtn for Stay

UPDATE II: Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights has posted the below explanation of what might happen next.

Minter notes that several California counties have indicated their readiness to begin issuing marriage licenses and performing civil ceremonies at once.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Fed Prop 8 Case) coming down tomorrow

From the American Foundation for Equal Rights:

The federal court announced today that it will release its decision in the American Foundation for Equal Right’s landmark case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, on Wednesday. Text “EQUAL” to 69866 to get a text message with the official decision on your mobile phone the moment the court releases its decision, or sign-up for an email alert at equalrightsfoundation.org. Join AFER on its Web site to watch a live press conference with our plaintiffs and co-counsels Ted Olson and David Boies following the release of the decision. As we receive news about the details of the release, AFER will update our Facebook and Twitter profiles, along with our Web site.

Question – do you think the Obama administration will have any public comment/press release re: the ruling?

Review the PHB files on Perry v. Schwarzeneggar.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Tell us something we DIDN'T know!

Today, a group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — or CREW —  released a report they say “provides in-depth analyses of 11 elected officials who have pushed their states’ best interests aside in favor of their supporters, families, political parties and bank accounts.” (Read it here.)

Guess who made the list. No really, go on, guess.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Yep, that’s right. Texas’ own Gov. Rick Perry has been deemed one of the 11 worst governors in the country. Imagine that.

So what are the transgressions that landed Perry on the list? Here are the highlights: he allegedly disregarded campaign finance laws and aided a business that was especially generous to his campaign; he refused to operate transparently, and has blocked access to information related to a death penalty case; he rejected federal stimulus funds in a manner that appeared to put partisan politics ahead of the interests of the citizens of Texas; he has perpetuated the revolving door between government and special interests; he accepted travel and campaign donations from a business that received benefits from his official actions; he used campaign funds for a personal trip with questionable relevance to his campaign for office.

You can download a PDF at the CREW website that gives more detailed info on each charge.

Of the 11 governors on CREW’s “worst of” list, nine are Republicans. The other two are Democrats. The list includes Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island, Republican Jim Gibbons of  Nevada, Republican Boby Jindal of Louisiana, Democrat David Paterson of New York, Republican Sonny Perdue of Georgia, Democrat Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Republican Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Republican Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

Now, aren’t we as Texans proud to know that our governor managed to make a list alongside the likes of Mark Sanford, who “subordinated his responsibilities to his pursuit of an extra-marital affair,” and David Paterson who “shielded a top aide from assault charges”? Just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?

—  admin

Federal trial over challenge to Prop 8 starts today

The battle over California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure that in 2008 allowed voters to enshrine a ban on same-sex marriage in their state Constitution, continues as the trial in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger begins today in San Francisco.

Unlike previous lawsuits over Prop 8 that were based on the state Constitution, this one kicks the fight up to the federal level, saying that Prop 8′s ban on same-sex marriage violates U.S. constitutional rights of equal protection and due process.

This article in the Los Angeles Times points out how very different this trial is going to be, compared to past court cases dealing with same-sex marriage. There will be “weeks of testimony on wide-ranging issues,” for example.

But one thing the article doesn’t discuss is the idea of letting people vote on the civil rights of a specific segment of the community. Even as this trial gets underway, opponents are already working to force governmental entities in the U.S. where gay marriage is legal to put the question to a vote of the citizens. It’s a democracy, they say. The voters should get to decide.

Here’s the problem with that, though. The United States is not a pure democracy. It was never intended to be. The U.S. is a republic. There is a big difference. BIG difference.

Here’s one explanation from LexRex.com: ” These two forms of government, Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard f the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic, under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority.”

In other words, in a Democracy, the majority rules, always. But in a Republic, the courts have a duty to protect the rights of the minority against majority rule.

In the case of same-sex marriage, the courts have done their duty, time after time, by ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. But last year the California Supreme Court neglected its duty by allowing an unconstitutional vote by the majority to run roughshod over the rights of the minority.

Let’s hope in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal courts — all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court — do their duty and uphold the laws of our republic and protect the rights of the minority against the mob-mentality votes of the majority.

—  admin

Arnold says no to anti-gay-marriage amendment

California’s Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up at the Log Cabin Republican’s national convention last weekend in San Diego, and he told those attending that he would “always be there to fight against” efforts to amend the California Constitution to prohibit legal same-sex marriage.

It seems to be a bit of a reverse for Schwarzenegger who has twice vetoed bills passed by the state’s Legislature to legalize gay marriage. But so far there’s been no word from his office on how the governor reconciles those vetoes with his vow to fight the amendment.

You can read a short article on Schwarzenegger’s appearance at the LCR convention and see a video of his speech here at the Web site for CBS News 8 in San Diego. And watch for more on this story in the April 18 issue of Dallas Voice.

—  admin