LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)
By Scott Martelle
Protect Consumer Justice
That’s the short response to a column over on Capitol Weekly that raises the specter of a “constitutional coup” by advocates of gay marriage, one of the odder pieces I’ve read about California’s Proposition 8, the legal challenge against it and U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that it is unconstitutional.
The gist of the column by Mathew McReynolds, staff attorney for the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, is that the Prop. 8 ruling is bad because it means supporters of gay marriage will be able to sue their opponents into oblivion if they don’t recognize gay marriage rights.
By Paul Hogarth
In March 2004, my law school hosted a debate between Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a right-wing lawyer from the Alliance Defense Fund. Gay marriages were happening at City Hall, and the ADF had sued the City – on behalf of 3 San Francisco residents – for defying state law (the State had its own lawsuit.) As a first-year student taking Constitutional Law, I had just learned that plaintiffs need “standing” to sue – and that to prove standing, one must have suffered an injury. “How have your three clients,” I asked naively, “been injured?”
The lawyer shuffled his papers for about five seconds, and then replied: “I can’t comment on pending litigation.” Six years later, Judge Vaughn Walker has overruled Prop 8 in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger – and the State of California is not appealing the decision. Now, right-wing proponents may be out of luck – because they can’t prove marriage equality would actually harm them. If the Ninth Circuit agrees that they lack standing, justice will prevail.
By Kate Kendell
National Center for Lesbian Rights
In the weeks leading up to the Proposition 8 trial, much was made in the media, blogs, and everyday conversations about the unlikely duo leading the legal challenge against the shameful California ballot measure that stripped marriage from same-sex couples.
The two, Ted Olson and David Boies, are an unlikely pairing on many levels. They are political adversaries, and famously opposed each other in Bush v. Gore. They are each high-powered and highly paid inside-the-beltway lawyers. Ted is a long-time darling of the conservative movement, a former U.S. Solicitor General and a founder of the Federalist Society. David is a Democratic Party insider and an advisor to a number of key Democratic leaders. And, finally, both are straight, and had no apparent prior interest or experience in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.
By Dave Dayen
As expected, ProtectMarriage.com has filed an emergency stay of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in the Prop 8 trial with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The stay that Walker put on his ruling will expire on August 18 absent any action from the Ninth Circuit. A copy of the Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Appeal is here.
Brian Devine notes the argument ProtectMarriage.com has made for “irreparable harm” coming to them if same-sex couples are allowed to marry in the next week:
By Brian Leubitz
This is cross-posted from the Prop 8 Trial Tracker
That's exactly what the American "Family" Association wants to do. In an email to their supporter list, the AFA called for Congress to impeach Judge Walker for failing to conduct himself with "good Behaviour":
Yesterday (August 4), U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker single-handedly overturned California's Prop. 8, which elevated protection for one-man, one-woman marriage to its state constitution.
In doing so, he frustrated the expressed will of seven million Californians who went to the polls to shape their state's public policy on marriage. ...
By Paul Hogarth
Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision Wednesday overruling Proposition 8 on due process and equal protection grounds was everything that marriage equality supporters could have hoped for. But despite all the exuberance, everyone knew that appealing the case was only a matter of time – and the U.S. Supreme Court would have final say. Walker’s legal analysis argued that “strict scrutiny” was the standard for laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians, but said that Prop 8 even failed the more lenient “rational basis” test.
By Sandip Roy
New America Media
When I heard about Judge Robert Vaughn Walker’s ruling on same-sex marriage, I immediately thought of one person.
Judge Susan Bolton.
On July 28, Susan Bolton issued an injunction that defanged the anti-immigrant SB 1070 in Arizona.
On Aug. 4, Vaughn Walker found California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage, unconstitutional.
For this, they will both be tarred as “judicial activists.” Judge Bolton has received death threats. Judge Walker is being denounced.
By The California Progress Report
U.S. 9th District Court Judge, Vaughn Walker in his ruling yesterday:
"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."
Here are just some of the responses to the decision by Judge Vaughn Walker that California's ban on marriage equality - known as Proposition 8 - violates the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
By Shannon Minter and Christopher Stoll
National Center For Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director and Staff Attorney
Today's decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is nothing short of a grand slam legal victory for LGBT people. In a comprehensive and crystal clear opinion, Judge Walker held that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Judge Walker reached this conclusion for two reasons: because Proposition 8 denies individuals the fundamental right to marry without a compelling reason to do so, violating the Due Process clause of the federal constitution, and because it violates the Equal Protection clause by discriminating based on sex and sexual orientation.
By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report
A federal judge has thrown out Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage today, ruling it unconstitutional.
The action mirrored the California Supreme Court's May 15, 2008 ruling overturning Prop 8's predecessor, Proposition 22. Both rulings found the government had no compelling reason to deny the essential liberty of marriage to its gay and lesbian citizens.
"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," wrote U.S. 9th District Court Judge, Vaughn Walker in his ruling released today.
"Indeed," wrote Walker, "the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."