The Ninth Circuit has completed all hearings and briefing in the Prop 8 case and could rule at any time. San Francisco is prepared -see Plan below.
Since proposition 8 was passed and then challenged in the California and Ninth Circuit Courts, the San Francisco LGBT community has rallied and protested outside each and every hearing, with activists and politicians standing on court steps calling for equality, and vowing to continue the fight until the last drop of legal discrimination in California. This time the LGBT community and allies will come out in great numbers either protest or celebrate the ruling.
If a ruling favors same-sex marriage, marriages are not likely to start immediately, as it is highly likely a stay will be ruled. That will not stop couples showing up with offciants, families and friends to conduct ceremonies on City Hall steps. It promises to be a noisy day, either way. Below in red, is a plan for the day as provided by Marriage Equality USA in tandem with other organizations.
Prop. 8 amended the California Constitution to eliminate marriage rights for same-sex couples in November 2008. As a result, the State of California is in violation of the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land, which guarantees every American basic fundamental rights, including the right to equal protection under the law.
Attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies were hired by AFER (who notably faced-off against each other in Bush v. Gore), a team of lawyers from firms, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, to litigate the case against Prop. 8. The plaintiffs in the case are two same-sex couples – Kris Perry & Sandy Stier and Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo – who wish to marry but cannot because of Proposition 8.
Because the suit challenges California law, the named defendants in the case are Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown, and various other state and county officials with jurisdiction over California marriages.
Governor Schwarzenegger, however, refused to use state resources to challenge AFER’s position, and Attorney General Brown went so far as to file papers with the court agreeing that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. Accordingly, Prop. 8 is being defended by the very group that led the campaign to pass it.
The City and County of San Francisco, led by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart, are supporting the plaintiffs’ team as co-counsel, with a specific focus on the negative impact Prop. 8 has on government services and budgets. Herrera and Stewart led the legal battle toward the California Supreme Court decision that struck down California’s previous same-sex marriage ban. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and National Center for Lesbian Rights, who previously argued the California State challenge to Prop. 8, are participating in the federal challenge as amici (friends of the court).
Same-sex couples, activists, LGBTIQ people, friends, family, and clergy will join together at a moments notice, for 2 events on the day that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announces its decision regarding Proposition 8. The Ninth Circuit has completed all hearings and briefing in the case and could rule at any time.
Separate is never equal, and under Prop. 8, California distinguishes its residents into four separate and unequal groups:
An integral part of our nation’s character and laws is the principle that all Americans are entitled to be treated equally by their government. Since 1888, the U.S. Supreme Court has 14 times reiterated that marriage is a basic civil right, including their landmark decision that struck down bans on interracial marriage more than 30 years ago.
COMMUNITY EVENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO ON DAY NINTH CIRCUIT ANNOUNCES PROP 8 DECISION
Please join same-sex couples, LGBTIQ people, friends, family, and clergy for 2 events on the day that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announces its decision regarding Proposition 8. The Ninth Circuit has completed all hearings and briefing in the case and could rule at any time.
9:45 AM COURTHOUSE PROP 8 DECISION: Gather on the steps of the Ninth Circuit Federal Courthouse, 95 7th Street (at Mission), San Francisco to receive the ruling (anticipated at 10:00 AM). Afterwards, we will proceed to San Francisco City Hall, where clergy will be available to bless couples who are not able to marry because of Prop. 8. (Even if the Ninth Circuit rules in our favor, it is highly likely that there will be a stay on the decision so that no marriages could take place immediately.)
5:00 PM COMMUNITY RALLY: Gather at Market & 17th (across from Castro & Market) San Francisco for a community rally. We will either celebrate or protest the decision, and either way, rededicate our resolve to achieve full equality nationwide.
Please wear your Marriage Equality USA, GetEQUAL, or No on 8 t-shirts if you have them and your signs!
by Melanie Nathan
Photo: Kristina Lapinski©