California

Prop 8 Backers Urge Supreme Court to Review

The ballot initiative that revoked marriage equality in California has taken a big step towards having its constitutionality determined by America’s highest court.  In a long-awaited move, proponents of Prop 8 have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Hollingsworth .v Perry that the ballot initiative violated the federal Equal Protection Clause.  A nearly 500 page document, which can found here, lays out their rationale for urging the court to review the case.

Prop 8 Trial Tracker broke down the core of their argument:

The question presented in the case is: “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” The proponents tell the Court that they should answer the “profoundly important question whether the ancient and vital institution of marriage should be fundamentally redefined to include same-sex couples.” They write that leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision intact would have “widespread and immediate negative consequences” and would leave the impression that any “experiment” with marriage would be “irrevocable”.

The Ninth Circuit issued a very narrow ruling, avoiding the question of whether gay and lesbian couples in general have a constitutional right to marry.  Instead, it based its ruling on narrow grounds unique to California, where same-sex couples were left with all the state rights of marriage but not the name. It found that taking their designation of “marriage” while leaving their rights unchanged did not serve any of the purposes put forth by its defenders. Instead, its only purpose and effect was to lessen a targeted group’s status and dignity by reclassifying their relationship and families as inferior. While the Supreme Court will be presented with the narrower question as framed by the Ninth Circuit, it is impossible to tell, if it agrees to hear the case at all, whether they will rule on this principle or more broadly on the ability of states to deny lesbians and gays the right to marry.

The Supreme Court will likely decide in early October whether or not to hear the case.  Back in February, PFAW applauded the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in upholding the decision of the district court striking down Prop 8.

Marriage equality is just one of the many critical issues that will come before the Supreme Court when they reconvene next session.  The elevation of Prop 8 to the highest level of the judicial system underscores the increasing importance of the Supreme Court and the Presidential election.

It is a difficult to imagine a more conservative Court than the one we have now, but Mitt Romney has pledged to appoint justices even further to the right then John Roberts and Samuel Alito.  Romney has also enlisted far-right judge Robert Bork to advise him on judicial matters.

Visit RomneyCourt.com  for more on Mitt Romney’s extreme vision for the Supreme Court.

PFAW Foundation Statement on the California Supreme Court's Decision to Uphold Prop 8

Today, the California Supreme Court denied a court challenge to Proposition 8 and allowed a bare majority of voters to place the controversial language in the State Constitution. The language bars civil marriage for same-sex couples in California, despite the fact that the Supreme Court found marriage to be a "fundamental right" just last year. The Court also upheld the unions of 18,000 same-sex couples who wed before Proposition 8 took effect.

Radio Ads Urge African Americans to Oppose Anti-Gay Discrimination

People For the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council In Long-Term Project to Challenge Homophobia in Black Church & Communities

Three radio ads urging African Americans to oppose anti-gay discrimination begin running across California today. The ads are part of a long-term effort to challenge homophobia in the Black Church and African American communities that is being carried out by the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a project of People For the American Way Foundation.

Myths and Facts about Marriage Equality

As the fight for same-sex couples' right to marry continues, here's a debunking of some commonly held myths about marriage equality.
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California Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/25/2011, 1:45pm
Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell writes today in his weekly column that efforts to combat the bullying of LGBT youth are meant to “advance the agenda of homosexual organizations and can turn homosexuality into yet another of the subjects on which words on only one side are permitted.” According to Sowell, anti-bullying efforts are merely a ruse to promulgate “propaganda for politically correct causes that are in vogue”: Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/24/2011, 12:00pm
Randy Thomasson of Save California joined Janet Mefferd on Friday to discuss the Queer Studies minor at Cal State Fullerton, and the anti-gay activist called the program an “oxymoron.” According to Thomasson, a sincere academic discussion of the LGBT community would show that no one is born gay and that people can simply change their sexual orientation and become ex-gays, “but they are dishonest so they are indoctrinating college students to think that homosexuality, bisexuality and transexuality is good and natural, maybe even for them.” He went on to warn that the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 11:04am
Shortly after Rick Perry's prayer rally earlier this year, organizers of that event started promoting a Religious Right voter mobilization effort called "Champion The Vote," which seeks to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012." It turned out that the Champion The Vote effort was a project of organization called United In Purpose, which is being funded by conservative millionaires for the purpose of mobilizing "40 million out of the estimated 60 million evangelicals in the United... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/21/2011, 11:00am
In an interview yesterday with Janet Mefferd to promote his book Suicide of a Superpower, Pat Buchanan reminisced about the national unity and common culture that existed…during segregation. Buchanan warned that America will soon look like California, where he claims religious faith is obsolete, gangs roam and the English language is marginalized. Buchanan added that America was “created” by whites and lamented that “we will have a country in 2041 that will consist of entirely of minorities.” He went on to say that while segregation was “wrong,”... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/13/2011, 10:10am
After the tragic shooting of Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay California student who was shot dead by a classmate in school three years ago, Religious Right activists pounced to defame King and gay rights advocates. Randy Thomasson of Save California blamed “social engineering” and said that King’s sexual orientation and gender expression and the shooting represented the “two wrongs” in the case. Anti-gay author Michael Brown said “gay activism” was responsible for the murder. The trial of King’s shooter ended in a hung jury and... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/07/2011, 10:24pm
Star Parker ended tonight's Values Voter Summit by mourning Roe v. Wade and marriage equality, declaring, "We are sick as a country, and we are going to have to recognize how deep this sickness is." She went on to compare legal abortion and gay marriage to slavery and the holocaust, warning that God in the same way "is going to answer the question of abortion and He is going to answer the question of marriage; He already defined marriage and God is true and man is the liar." Watch: Parker: He is going to answer these questions, and we've been yearning, and we've... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/06/2011, 5:48pm
Michael Keegan @ HuffPo: Dear Mitt Romney: Prove Us Wrong. Good As You: As Predicted: NOM Spins Request For Clerks To Do Their Jobs As If Its 'Defamation.' Igor Volsky @ Think Progress: Anti-Gay Groups: California Students Will Have To Learn About Chaz Bono Instead Of George Washington. Bruce Wilson @ Talk 2 Action: New Apostolic Reformation Reconciliation Expert Promotes Book Demonizing MLK. Beau Underwood @ BoldFaithType: Mitch Daniels and the Limits of Freedom. MORE