Monday, January 11, 2010


What it's about: A challenge to Prop 8 under Federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection is underway (Perry V. Schwarzeneggar). This case will be heard by Judge Vaughn Walker of the US District (Federal) Court and the trial begins today. Live twitter feed here.

Why it's different than the previous case: Previous challenge to Prop8 was based solely on California Constitutional issues about the legality of amending the state constitution. It did NOT involve federal issues and was heard by the state Supreme Court. The California court ruled, with some regret, that California's misguided constitution allows any minority's rights to be abolished by popular vote. Federal constitutional issues were not addressed.

Why it's risky: This case will certainly be appealed up to the US Supreme Court, which is still very conservative. A setback from the Supreme Court could set back marriage rights for a generation or more. A win would be amazing!

Crucial Questions:
  • Are GLBT people a protected class? (think protections of race, or of religious practice)
  • Were the proponents of Prop8 motivated by legitimate concerns, or by animus against GLBT people?
Previous posts on this topic from this blog

MOre background from The SF Chronicle ,and What's at stake, from the American Prospect

More info from these sites:
The Court's webpage on this trial
Law Dork
American Foundation for Equal Rights

There's a delayed broadcast of proceedings on this YouTube video

Update: Supreme court blocks Youtube broadcast, at least for now.

UpdateFrom the defense counsel: "Marriage is socially approved sexual intercourse."

Oh, so THAT'S all it's about!

Their argument is going to be based on procreation, and on the reduced marriage rates in the Netherlands. (Caused by gay marriage!) I'm so frustrated at these people ....!

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