California | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8 | Shannon Minter

Arguments Challenging Proposition 8 to Be Heard Thursday


On March 4, 2008, the Supreme Court heard arguments that ultimately lead them to the rule the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional a little more than two months later. On March 5, this Thursday, they'll again hear arguments on that topic, this time on whether Proposition 8, the voter-imposed ban on same-sex marriage, is constitutional.

Supremes The Mercury News: "The question is whether a majority of the justices will defer to popular will or, having already declared that preventing gay people from marrying was unconstitutional, will do so again. Legal experts say it is a tough call and that the court's decision, due within 90 days, will be debated for years to come...Legal experts say Proposition 8, which won 52 percent of the vote, would almost certainly stand if not for one notable fact: the marriage amendment represents the first time in California history that the constitution was changed at the ballot box to deprive a protected minority group of a right expressly carved out by the court."

Minter_starr Over the weekend, the Sacramento Bee previewed this week's face-off with a look at the attorneys on each side, Kenneth Starr and Shannon Minter — the former an erstwhile federal judge, U.S. solicitor and the lead prosecutor in the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky hearings, and the latter a transgender man who successfully argued the same-sex marriage case before the court a year ago.

The Bee reports: "Minter calls Thursday's proceedings 'much bigger' than the case last May that invalidated Proposition 22; approved in 2000, it also limited marriage to a man and a woman. 'This is now about whether a majority can take away an inalienable right from one group of Californians,' Minter said. 'If the court were to say it's OK … then no one's rights would mean very much.' Starr did not respond to interview requests. But his co-counsel, Folsom attorney Andrew Pugno, disagreed with Minter's contention that Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot."

Here's an interview Minter gave to Towleroad at the Democratic National Convention in Denver before Proposition 8 was approved by voters:

Nationwide vigils are scheduled for Wednesday night across California. Find out more about one in your town at or Marriage Equality USA is just $18,000 short of the financing they need to secure a jumbotron for Thursdays hearings just outside the California Supreme Court.

Sean Chapin created a video about the upcoming Wednesday night events. Watch it,

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  1. It's great to have Minter on our side. I would hope that anyone seeing the words "Ken Starr is arguing for..." would know to oppose it.

    On a horribly superficial (but intended as complimentary) note, I never would have guessed that Minter is transgender.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 2, 2009 7:00:23 PM

  2. With all due respect to Sean Chapin, this video is a "let's hold hands and sing Koombaya together everyone." The issue is NOT about love nor happiness nor compassion nor puppies nor warm and fuzzy. It's about EQUALITY under the law.

    Maybe I should have made the video? I'd state, "Are you mad at being forced to pay first class taxes and yet be treated as second class citizens?" "Are you angry that Radical Religious Extremists are working to destroy California families?" The come out.... and so on and so forth.

    Am I being too harsh or is this warm and fuzzy the way to go?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Mar 2, 2009 7:11:35 PM

  3. I hadn't watched the second video until you noted it, Sargon. I agree---the "kindness" and "beauty" parts are essentially nonsense. Coming out is a social or political or psychologically essential move (among others). Demanding equal rights has nothing to do with kindness and beauty, etc.

    They also should have left up the URLs longer.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 2, 2009 7:32:14 PM

  4. Sargon Bighorn, let me know if you need a supportive cameraman.

    Warm & fuzzy is what has put us in the position that we are currently in. And I'm not limiting that statement to GLBTs or Americans.

    Posted by: Marc | Mar 2, 2009 8:21:59 PM

  5. Thank you. Somebody has to draw attention to the fact that the "love wins out" message doesn't really resonate in a country full of warmongering conservatives. I can already imagine what the gay "leadership" in California would do if the CSC voted to uphold Prop. 8 (a distinct possibility).

    Go to Disneyland for a good cry? Show upto the Oscars next year in a pink tie as a "political statement"? Come up with witty signs for the next token protest against public officials are already on our side? Throw a circuit party in front of a Mormon Temple?

    You know, the usual lame and pathetic show of weakness that will embolden our enemies.

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 2, 2009 8:35:24 PM

  6. More of Corey please!

    Posted by: Luis Alejandro | Mar 3, 2009 11:35:05 AM

  7. Thanks for all of your comments on my promo video. I understand that there are differences in how the LGBT community can act, as well as the messages we send, in response to discrimination. I specifically made the video directly for the LGBT and friends of LGBT people to try to get as many people as we can to come out to the rallies on Wednesday evening all over California and Thursday in San Francisco, and I am very thankful that Towleroad posted the video in helping advertise these events. I decided to convey a message of peace rather than anger, as I felt such a tone to be more consistent with the inherent beauty found in marriages and loving relationships, and I believe that it is through peaceful, positive actions that we can change many minds and hearts over the long run. I'm humbled by the exposure that the video has received since I posted it over the weekend, and I hope it helps get as many people out to these protest rallies, as California and America needs to see how strongly we believe in full equal civil rights for everyone.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 3, 2009 4:46:49 PM

  8. Is there a site on the web that can be used to hear live the hearing of the supreme court on TDhursday?

    Posted by: Frank Forsey | Mar 4, 2009 8:55:53 PM

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