LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)

The Road Ahead

By Marc Solomon
Equality California
Crossposted from The Advocate

The last few weeks in the California marriage battles have been at once hopeful and painful. First we rode an ecstatic wave upward: Judge Vaughn Walker issued a powerful opinion striking down Proposition 8, and we celebrated as couples made plans to get married across the state.

Then we rode downward when a three-judge panel of the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit granted an indefinite stay of the decision — without explanation. Committed couples and their families, some of whom had begun making wedding plans, once again felt the pain of being denied not only a fundamental right but also the respect for and recognition of their love and commitment that only marriage offers.

Rove's 'Crossroads' Says California Senator Is In Its Texas Crosshairs

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Just one day before a new survey release showed California's incumbent Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, holding a narrow, one point lead over her conservative opponent,  Carly Fiorina, a new Texas-based and funded group announced its plan to assist the Texas native and former Hewlett Packard CEO in her bid to unseat Boxer and restore Republican control of the US Senate.

The Karl Rove-linked conservative group, Crossroads GPS, an affiliate of Rove's American Crossroads, announced it will hit Los Angeles airwaves Wednesday with a $1 million dollar ad campaign attacking Boxer's support of Medicare cuts that were a part of President Obama's health-care overhaul, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday

Prop. 8 Ruling A Threat To American Democracy? Um, No.

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.

How “Standing” May Doom Proposition 8

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.

Ted and David’s Most Excellent Adventure

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.

Intervenors File Motion for Stay of Prop 8 Ruling with Ninth Circuit

By Dave Dayen

As expected, 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 has made for “irreparable harm” coming to them if same-sex couples are allowed to marry in the next week:

Impeach Judge Walker?

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. ...

“Facts Are Stubborn Things” – The Value Of Judge Walker’s Decision

By Paul Hogarth
Beyond Chron

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.

Prop 8 and SB 1070 -- Sisters Under the Skin?

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.

Advocates, Elected Officials Respond to Landmark Prop 8 Decision

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: