As funding cuts loom, LifeWalk helps fill the gaps

Walkers can register themselves — and their dogs — online to participate in the 21st annual event benefiting AIDS Arms, 7 partners

LifeWalk
WALK ON | Walkers head out along the 3.2-mile route out in the the 20th annual AIDS LifeWalk in 2010. Tori Hobbs, development director for AIDS Arms Inc., said funds from the walk this year are vital to AIDS Arms and its partner beneficiary agencies due to further cuts in funding from the federal government.

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

As local AIDS service organizations face even more cuts this year in federal and state funding, local fundraising efforts are becoming increasingly important in their efforts to keep their programs alive. One of those local fundraisers is the annual AIDS LifeWalk, produced each year by AIDS Arms, Inc.

This year’s walk, the 21st annual event set for Sunday, Oct. 2, also benefits AIDS Arms’ seven partner agencies: AIDS Services of Dallas, Bryan’s House, the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Tori Hobbs, director of development for AIDS Arms, said this week that LifeWalk this year is expected to account for about 5 percent of the agency’s annual budget.

“As the government cuts back on funding to those most vulnerable, agencies such as AIDS Arms must try and fill in the gaps,” Hobbs said. “LifeWalk is a very direct way to fill in those gaps in needed services for those impacted by HIV/AIDS.”

Hobbs said that currently, walker registrations online — and fundraising — are lagging a bit off the pace set by last year’s 20th annual LifeWalk, “so we really need folks to get signed up to walk and start asking their friends and families to support them in the walk.”

She said that individuals can register online, at AIDSLifeWalk.org, and that when they do so, they can create their own fundraising page and use that page to send emails directly to friends and family members to ask for donations.

The cost to register is $40 per person, and walkers can get their pets in on the fundraising effort as well, registering their dogs, for $10 per pooch, for LifeBark.

LifeWalk begins and ends at Lee Park. On-site registration begins at 11:30 a.m. in Lee Park on the day of the walk, and the walk itself begins at 1 p.m.

“All the funds we raise will go directly to access medical care for our clients with HIV/AIDS,” Hobbs said. “These clients can come to AIDS Arms and find the care they need. We are there to tell them that there is hope.

“We are really feeling the cuts from Washington right now, and we really need people to turn out again this year to support this walk, and to be part of this wonderful and caring community,” Hobbs said.

For more information or to register for LifeWalk, go online to AIDSLifeWalk.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Organizers set goal of $500,000 for 20th annual LifeWalk

Organizers hoping for more than 10,000 walkers to gather in Lee Park to raise money for 10 AIDS service organizations in Dallas

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor nash@dallasvoice.com

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LIFEWALK  |  AIDS Arms recently held a reception at ilume Galleries honoring past and present chairs of the agency’s annual LifeWalk funraiser as part of the buildup to the 20th annual LifeWalk taking place Sunday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. in Lee Park. During the event, an unnamed benefactor donated $5,000 to LifeWalk in honor of the past co-chairs. The event also featured eight local artists who had work on display in the gallery.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LIFEWALK | AIDS Arms recently held a reception at ilume Galleries honoring past and present chairs of the agency’s annual LifeWalk funraiser as part of the buildup to the 20th annual LifeWalk taking place Sunday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. in Lee Park. During the event, an unnamed benefactor donated $5,000 to LifeWalk in honor of the past co-chairs. The event also featured eight local artists who had work on display in the gallery.

About 62 new teams have registered to participate in the 20th annual LifeWalk on Sunday, Oct. 10, according to AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles.

“That’s the most new teams in one year that we have ever had,” Nobles said. “We have all our established teams coming back, plus the 62 new teams. That’s a little more than 200 teams total that will be walking.”

And that’s not counting the people who haven’t registered yet and will be walking as individuals instead of with a team.

“A lot of people never join a team. They just show up on Sunday, register on their own and walk. And those individuals usually bring someone with them — a partner or other family member or a friend or a pet. We never know until the day of the walk how many people will be participating,” Nobles said.

She said nearly 10,000 people participated in the 2009 LifeWalk, “and we assume we will meet that number again this year, if not exceed it. We hope we will exceed it, of course.”

The fundraising goal for the 20th LifeWalk is set at $500,000, which will be divided between AIDS Arms, which presents the event, and the 10 other beneficiaries.

“That’s huge, we know. Year before last, we raised $430,000, and last year we just about hit $400,000. The economic recession hit us hard last year, but we are hoping to really bounce back from that this year.”

The fundraising goal for the walk is based on the needs of the beneficiaries, Nobles said. “We tell the [LifeWalk] steering committee what we need, and the committee approves that as the goal. Then they [committee members] have to go out there and make it happen.”

The recession, Nobles said, has impacted AIDS service organizations in more ways than one. While donors have had to cut back on how much they are able to give, agencies are at the same time seeing more people who need help.

“What’s happening, across the board, is that there are just far too many clients needing help than we have the capacity to help,” Nobles said. “All of us [AIDS service organizations] are just way beyond our capacity. All of us need funding to expand that capacity and serve the fast-growing segment of people who are HIV-positive.”

And the proceeds from LifeWalk are especially helpful because the beneficiary agencies can use those funds however they want.

“Grant money is always extremely restricted money,” Nobles explained. “You can only spend grant money on the specific things that the funder has approved. And most often, those grant dollars don’t pay for the tools we need to do our jobs — things like computers, prevention supplies, testing supplies.

“Grant money usually doesn’t cover the costs of expanded media in new formats, those new ways to use new avenues to reach out with education and prevention efforts,” she continued. “For example, here at AIDS Arms, we love to do our ‘Lunch and Learn’ program. It’s where we invite clients to come in and we feed them, and as they have lunch we educate them on some aspect of living with AIDS. But all that goes by the wayside when there are no unrestricted funds available.”

And that’s why LifeWalk is so important. Because the funds it brings in are completely unrestricted.

Nobles said AIDS Arms officials hope to be able to use LifeWalk funds this year to bring in new equipment for the Peabody Clinic.

“We have a long list of equipment we need to diagnose, track and monitor the health of our clients,” she said.

“This time around, cardiovascular care is a huge need in our HIV patients, and we need equipment to be able to respond to that need in a better way. I don’t think the general public really understands that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 health risk for a lot of HIV patients. That’s particularly true as the patient population ages.

And that makes the management of HIV disease that much more complicated. We have to stay on top of all of it.

You have to treat the whole person.”

Registration for LifeWalk opens at noon on Sunday, and the walk steps off at 1 p.m. Walkers will move up Turtle Creek Boulevard, go through the West Village and then circle through Uptown and back to Lee Park.

There will be activities and entertainment going on throughout the day in the park, including the Buster Brown Band, a DJ playing music, Voice of Pride winner Mel Arizpe, games for the children, food, beverages and more, Nobles said.

Also during the day, in honor of the 20th anniversary, past LifeWalk co-chairs will be recognized from the stage.

“It’s going to be very family friendly, and very dog friendly. There will be several vendors with booths, and there will be a health fair with free HIV testing available on-site all day,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Nobles acknowledged that the reason behind LifeWalk is very serious, and that there are likely to be some sad moments as organizers and participants remember friends and family members who have died.
But the fun side of the event is also important.

“Everyone knows that we do this for very serious reasons, that the epidemic is still killing people and that our dollars are going to help with serious needs,” Nobles said. “But people need to have some relief from that seriousness, too. People get burned out. It’s called ‘compassion fatigue.’ And they need to be able to celebrate life; we need to celebrate the memories of those we have lost and we need to celebrate the lives of those who are living with this disease.

“There are people who have lived with this since the day the epidemic began, and we need to celebrate their lives, their tenacity and their courage,” Nobles said. “And LifeWalk is a great way to do that, because you know that every dollar that comes into LifeWalk goes to programs that directly help clients. Close to 20,000 people depend on the AIDS services organizations in Dallas, and the money from LifeWalk goes to help them. You can make an investment in the future of a lot of people through LifeWalk.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 08, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

BREAKING: Ninth Circuit grants stay of Walker’s decision pending appeal

Just received this notice via email from the Ninth Circuit:

Filed order (EDWARD LEAVY, MICHAEL DALY HAWKINS and SIDNEY R. THOMAS) Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of August 4, 2010 pending appeal is GRANTED. The court sua sponte orders that this appeal be expedited pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 2. The provisions of Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a) (pertaining to grants of time extensions) shall not apply to this appeal. This appeal shall be calendared during the week of December 6, 2010, at The James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco, California. The previously established briefing schedule is vacated. The opening brief is now due September 17, 2010. The answering brief is due October 18, 2010. The reply brief is due November 1, 2010. In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. See Arizonans For Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 66 (1997). IT IS SO ORDERED. [7441574] (JS)

So, the motion to stay is granted, pending appeal. That means marriages won’t begin on Wednesday or anytime soon.

The appeal has been expedited. Arguments will be held in early December. One other thing: This order states that Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2 does not apply, meaning no extensions. Under Rule 31-2.2 (a), “If good cause is shown, the clerk or a designated deputy may grant an oral request for a single extension of time of no more than 14 days to file an opening, answering or reply brief. Such extensions may be applied for and granted or denied by telephone.” No one gets the 14 days extension. Sounds like the judges want this case to move ahead without delay.

And, the appellants, meaning the pro-Prop. 8 side, have to explain why they have standing. That remains a major issue for them moving forward. For more on this issue, see Prof. David Cruz’s post: Do the Prop. 8 proponents have Standing to Appeal?

I’m sure we’ll have more on this soon.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Judge Walker’s Prop 8 Ruling and the Foolishness of Crowds

Glen RetiefCrossposted from A Musing blog.


In reflecting on the recent Prop 8 ruling which now allows marriage equality in California once again, my partner, Glen Retief, considers mob mentality and the need from time to time for an "adult" to step in and burst the bubble.
~peterson

By Glen Retief

Are crowds wise or foolish?  This is the deeper philosophical question underlying Judge Walker’s judgment that California voters’ restriction of marriage to a union between a man and woman amounted to illegal and irrational discrimination.

This may not have been the literal legal principle at stake—whether hordes of people acting together tend to make good or bad decisions about matters such as minority civil liberties.  But it certainly was a subtext, as Judge Walker, in his robes and book-lined study, displayed an elegance of logic, a depth of thought, and a breadth of knowledge about human sexual diversity for which even his critics expressed admiration.

I’m certainly not out to insult the average Calfornia voter, here.  When I think of the folks who voted both for and against Prop 8, I picture, in fact, someone much like me—a middle-aged man or woman in a Ford Escort, stopping by the voting booth between grocery-shopping and picking up the cats from the vet.  I’m an educator and a memoirist, with little time for legal debates.  When exactly does your regular teacher, accountant, or bricklayer get the leisure to read through tomes on the equal protection clause or on the changing social function of marriage?


Yet, it seemed clear that for a significant portion of the American population, in a democracy it is precisely ordinary people—however ignorant and unqualified—who should be allowed to vote on their neighbors’ basic rights.

Some full disclosure, here:  As a partnered gay man I had a great deal to celebrate last week in the Prop 8 ruling.  If the decision stands, I won’t have to worry about my partner lacking Social Security benefits if I die before he does.  We’ll save precious thousands of dollars a year on simple things like federal taxes on the health insurance my employer buys him.  If we get into a car accident, no apathetic or homophobic nurse is going to stop us visiting each other.

As a South African immigrant, too, I was happy about Judge Walker’s logic: I could finally see my adopted country catch up with my home nation regarding civil rights.  South Africa banned antigay discrimination, along with lots of other kinds, in its 1996 Bill of Rights—the same year as the Defence of Marriage Act in this country.

There is something inherently humiliating about having to ask my neighbors’ and lawmakers’ permission to get married—as if, instead of just having to ask the father of the bride, a young man had to ask 300 million Americans if it was OK to wed his sweetheart.  Judge Walker restores me some of my dignity.

But as I mulled over the import of Walker’s reasoning last week, I actually found myself reacting much less as a gay man than simply as a human being, someone who thinks a lot about human discernment and idiocy—and quite avidly participates in both.<em></em>

&Ever since I lived through the Florida housing bubble from 1997 to 2006, I’ve enjoyed reading a book called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles MacKay.  In it, MacKay discusses all manner of fashionable insanities, from the Dutch tulip mania of the early seventeenth century, when single bulbs sold for more than quaint country cottages, to the European witch trials, which resulted in the brutal burning of thousands of innocents.

What I recall most vividly about the Florida housing bubble—the most vivid illustration of mass delusion in my lifetime–was how astonishingly universal the enthusiasm was: cocktail party talk revolved endlessly around how everyone was getting rich.  Unbuilt condos were bought and sold months later for six digit profits.

Wander around a South Beach bar today, and you won’t have go far to find someone to rail against Alan Greenspan for not raising interest rates in the mid-2000’s—this in a state now suffering mass unemployment and expanding soup kitchens.

Yet, Greenspan would have been roasted from Peoria to San Diego had he done anything of the sort in 2002.  While things were going well, our collective judgment felt gloriously infallible.  The last thing we wanted was “a monarch in a robe”—to use a phrase used to describe Walker—to tell us we shouldn’t be watching our house valuations soar.

Which brings me back to last week’s ruling.  The learned judge is simply right about the sheer irrationality and insanity of heterosexism, about its lack of grounding in any facts at all, about its cruelty.  Antigay persecution is perhaps as sadistic and unnecessary as the medieval witch hunts discussed by MacKay, even if much less violent.

For many Americans, Walker’s message clearly wasn’t a welcome one.  But when is it ever fun to learn about one’s ignorance?  For most of us, that’s about as pleasurable as watching our house’s value plummet.

Glen Retief teaches creative nonfiction at Susquehanna University. His memoir, The Jack Bank, will appear in April 2011, from St. Martin’s Press.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

WTF? CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin speculates on Judge Vaughn Walker’s sexual orientation

What is the purpose of the line of discussion? In what universe is the sexual orientation of any judge relevant to ANY case?

Should straight judges recuse themselves from a case involving sexual orientation? What about religious conflict of interest – is that on the table now as well?

It’s yet another example of how the the MSM shouldn’t assail the journalistic chops of new media when asinine matters like this come up.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

About Judge Walker’s non-stay stay

LA Times editorial:

Walker made the logical and ethical decision to lift his temporary stay on last week’s ruling, but prudently decreed that it would remain in place until Wednesday, giving supporters of Proposition 8 time to bring the issue to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That might not have been the boldest decision, but it was a fair and judicious one. If the weddings had begun Thursday afternoon — officials in several cities throughout the state, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, were set up to start officiating at high-profile nuptials — and then were stopped just a few days later by a higher court, that truly would have created whipsawing confusion.

Thursday’s decision should, but probably won’t, quell some of the undeserved criticism leveled at Walker, who has been shrilly accused of engaging in self-interested “judicial tyranny.” To the contrary: Walker stood firm on constitutional principle yet showed respect for the litigants as they take their case to a higher court.

His critics are bigots and conservative Republican opportunists. They’re not going to change their spots because he was nice to them.

I’m also not 100% convinced that his decision was the right one, to in essence continue the stay long enough to give the appellate court the decision on whether to stay implementation of his ruling pending the outcome of the appeal (should there be one). We had marriage. They took it away. We are legitimately harmed by not having the right to marry. The bad guys suffer no harm if we have that right a while longer, and then it gets taken away again. And, as the judge noted, he’s not even sure they have standing to appeal, let alone have a case.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

We (Almost) Have Marriage Equality: An Analysis of Judge Walker’s Prop 8 Stay Ruling

Guestblogger ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Ari weighs in on the ruling handed down earlier today by Judge Walker.

Northern District of California Judge Vaughn Walker will enforce marriage equality in California…as of 5 pm Pacific on August 18, 2010.  But for now, same-sex marriages will remain on hold.

Walker But, wait a minute. If the proponents of Prop 8 lost so comprehensively on August 4, why continue the stay? In the words of Judge Walker himself, marriage equality won the day. So, why would a judge delay the enforcement of his own decision. It is really a matter of procedural fairness. Judge Walker recognizes that this is, to paraphrase Vice President Biden, a big [blank] deal and it is only fair in our system to give the parties that lost at trial the opportunity to file their papers with the court of appeals. It also is a sign of respect for the appellate court, which now has time to consider any motion for a stay that they might here in the near future. Plus, this kind of ruling is common, even in civil cases.  It may be frustrating, but Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were civil rights.

Regardless of the one-week extra delay in same-sex marriages in California, this decision was another momentous step forward for marriage equality. And here are five reasons why.

1.  The stay was denied. 

When lawyers refer to a "stay", they mean a delay in enforcing something. Outside of one more week, which Judge Walker found necessary "to permit the court of appeals to consider the issue in an orderly manner," the stay was denied. Prop 8 proponents had the responsibility of showing that allowing same-sex marriages would do so much harm to them that to go forward with same-sex marriage would be devastating. It's a high hurdle to jump, and Prop 8 proponents barely got off the ground. They admitted that they could not identify any harm to them if marriages licenses were issued. In fact, they relied on apparent harm to same-sex couples, caused by any uncertainty around the availability of marriage rights between now and any appeal. I am heartened that they are thinking so altruistically about same-sex couples here. But, that's not a harm that Prop 8 proponents will feel. In fact, it's barely a harm to anyone at all.

To boil down Judge Walker's ruling, he said that he looked at the possible damage to Prop 8 proponents — all of which he found hypothetical or unsupported at trial — and at the possible damage to same-sex couples — their lack of access to a fundamental right — and found that the damage to same-sex couples was considerably more substantial.

2.  Prop 8 proponents may not "likely" succeed on appeal.

Prop 8 proponents had to show that their appeal had at least a "likelihood" of success. That's a fancy way of saying that the only way a stay can be granted is if your appeal has merit. First, Judge Walker's decision on August 4 so eviscerated every piece of the Prop 8 proponents' case that he could not see any likelihood of success.  

3.  Prop 8 proponents may not even be able to appeal.

Second, and more importantly, Judge Walker notes that Prop 8 proponents may not even have the right to appeal. Lawyers call it "standing", which is not a homage to an R.E.M. song, but rather a way to identify those parties who have been hurt by an adverse ruling at trial and, thus, can ask a court to fix it. As noted here earlier, Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown filed papers asking Judge Walker to remove his temporary stay. They are California in this case, they are the ones that have to change their practices as a result of the ruling,  and they don't even want to wait to do so. They want to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Since it is the State of California and not a collection of anti-marriage equality advocates that issue marriage licenses, the only parties that may have the ability to ask the court of appeal to review Judge Walker's decision are those representing the State of California.

Think of it this way. Let's say the San Diego Padres win a game against the New York Mets due to a botched call by an umpire. The win propels the Padres into first place ahead of the San Francisco Giants.  Who can appeal the win to the commissioner's office? Only the Mets. The botched call directly harmed them. They were the injured party. The Giants may have also been affected, but the adverse call didn't happen to them. To put it another way, a man is married to a woman. The man has an affair. Only the embattled wife can sue for divorce. The man's mistress can't ask a court to divorce the couple.

This is important for obvious reasons. The governor's and attorney general's decision to ask Judge Walker to lift the stay pretty much means they agree with the decision and do not want to have any part of an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The remaining defendants in the Prop 8 case — anti-marriage equality advocates — are the only ones left. They were given a chance at trial to identify what kind of harm they would face if Prop 8 were overturned, but they failed to show any evidence of real harm.  Without any harm, not only do they lose their case at trial, but also they may lack the right to appeal.

And, in 1997, the Supreme Court has indicated that they agree. It was a case that involved a vote on making English the official language in Arizona. The Supreme Court found that initiative proponents, like the anti-marriage equality advocates in this case, do not automatically have the right to appeal a court decision overturning that initiative.

So, will this case be appealed? Don't be so sure.

4. This is another well-reasoned and well-supported decision from Judge Walker.

Nevertheless, Prop 8 proponents will try to appeal. They will also try to get the Ninth Circuit to do what Judge Walker refused to do, i.e., grant the stay. But, just like I discussed after Judge Walker's ruling last week, his decision was so well-written that an appellate court would be hard-pressed to defy him. I see that again here. Prop 8 proponents' inability to provide any evidence that they would be harmed by marriage equality in California is all over this decision and it was the fatal flaw in their argument, both at trial and for a stay. There simply is not enough evidence of real or expected harm to justify a stay.

5. This was a reaffirmation of marriage equality.

Judge Walker said it best: "[T]he trial record left no doubt that Proposition 8 inflicts harm on plaintiffs and other gays and lesbians in California. Any stay would serve only to delay plaintiffs access to the remedy to which they have shown they are entitled." Amen.

What happens now? 

Prop 8 proponents have already stated on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News that they plan on asking the Ninth Circuit for a stay and, if necessary, the Supreme Court. But any appellate court will first have to address the threshold question of whether they have the right to ask a higher court for a stay. It is unclear whether they have standing to appeal, as discussed above. Given that, here is one possible scenario of how this will play out, step-by-step:

Motion to Ninth Circuit for stay. If denied, motion to the Supreme Court. If granted, filing papers for a substantive appeal of the decision itself. If the Ninth Circuit finds Prop 8 proponents have no right to appeal, they may appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court, or the case ends with Judge Walker's ruling in place permanently. This may take 1-2 years.

If the Ninth Circuit finds Prop 8 proponents do indeed have the right to appeal, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit will hear that appeal. Either way, the case will probably be then heard by a larger panel — perhaps, 11 — of judges. Then, the case may go before the Supreme Court. This may take up to 3-5 years.

Ari Ezra Waldman is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. After practicing in New York for five years and clerking at a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., Ari is now on the faculty at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. His area of expertise are criminal law, criminal procedure, LGBT law and law and economics.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Prop 8 Plaintiffs File Motion Opposing Judge Walker’s Stay

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, who represented the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 trial, filed the motion yesterday, the day it was due.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and attorney general Jerry Brown filed their own motions yesterday as well.

Ob AFER issued the following statement calling for same-sex marriages in California to resume at once.

“The unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 has been proven beyond a doubt. Extending Prop. 8’s denial of fundamental constitutional rights represents a grave injustice. The time for the court’s ruling to go into effect is now. We welcome Governor Schwarzenegger’s and Attorney General Brown’s opposition of a stay after their thoughtful analysis of the evidence, the court’s ruling and the law.”

Read the full motion here.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has published an explanation on the possible ways the stay could potentially play out:

"Judge Walker can decide whether to stay the decision for longer at any time. If he grants the motion to stay, same-sex couples will not be able to marry in California until after the appeal is finished. The Judge can also delay the decision for a short time until the Ninth Circuit appeals court decides whether they will order a stay. If Judge Walker denies the stay and permits his decision to take immediate effect, the Yes on 8 proponents can ask the Ninth Circuit appeals court to order an emergency stay. Several counties have announced that, if Judge Walker lifts the stay, they are ready to begin issuing licenses and performing civil ceremonies for same-sex couples."

Meanwhile, David Boies, one half of the team who repped the prop 8 plaintiffs, told a large crowd in San Francisco that he believes it is a "dead certainty" the case will end up in the hands of the US Supreme Court. Watch a clip of him speak, AFTER THE JUMP.

Finally, Equality California is calling on everyone to sign their electronic petition that urges Meg Whitman and Steve Cooley, who are running for the CA governorship and AG positions respectively, to state that they will refuse to defend Prop 8 in court if they are ever elected.

Sign it here.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Dahlia Lithwick: Judge Walker’s 80 Statements Of Fact Are the Meat Of His Ruling

We all knew Rachel Maddow would be all over Wednesday's Prop 8 ruling. But I'm equally impressed by how much real-time coverage even CNN gave to today's decision, despite Rick Sanchez welcoming FRC's Tony Perkins, a bona fide hate leader, on the show.

CONTINUED »


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—  John Wright