Dennis Herrera Hub

SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera Denounces 'Desperate' Attempt by Prop 8 Supporters to Halt Gay Marriages

City Attorney of San Francisco Dennis Herrera has issued a swift response to a request to the California Supreme Court from Prop 8 proponents that the Court immediately halt gay marriages:

HerreraSan Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera will promptly oppose a move by the proponents of Proposition 8 that seeks to block equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in California. The motion filed by in the state Supreme Court this morning names all California counties -- including San Francisco -- as defendants, and contends that Gov. Jerry Brown did not have the authority to direct county officials to stop enforcing Prop 8 because the measure had not been deemed unconstitutional by an appellate court. The U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 ruling, holding that the measure's sponsors lacked standing to appeal, left intact a U.S. District Court ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. The petition filed with the state high court today is Hollingsworth v. O'Connell.

"This motion is a desperate obstruction tactic used in the vain hope of pursuing an unconstitutional agenda," said Herrera. "The opponents of the freedom to marry have chosen to ignore the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and the well-settled California marriage case of Lockyer v. San Francisco, which they themselves celebrated at the time. Their motion has essentially no chance to succeed. The most basic concepts of American law tell us that a state court cannot and will not overrule the federal judiciary. The citizens of California are left wondering when these people will realize that, having lost the moral struggle years and years ago, they have now lost the legal struggle as well. Marriage equality is now the law in the State of California, and will remain so from this point onward. Together we will soon see the day when it is the law all across America."

Herrera has served as co-counsel in the Prop 8 case since 2009.

More on Herrera's response HERE and Protect Marriage's request, HERE.

Battle for Gay Vote Intensifies in SF Mayoral Race Over Allegations City Attorney Opposed Newsom Marrying Gays

The battle for the gay vote in the San Francisco mayoral race is getting a bit ugly as four former officials, speaking anonymously, say that City Attorney Dennis Herrera was an "obstruction" to then mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to marry same-sex couples in 2004, the SF Chronicle reports:

HerreraHerrera is running in part on his record working for same-sex marriage. His campaign website calls him "one of nation's foremost leaders in the fight for marriage equality." He even beat Dufty, the only openly gay candidate in the race, for the prestigious No. 1 endorsement from the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the oldest gay-rights Democratic club in the country.

But four senior members of Newsom's inner circle at the time say Herrera was initially strongly opposed to Newsom's decision to start marrying same-sex couples in February 2004, a defining chapter in the city's recent history that helped reframe the national debate over marriage equality.

"He was not even passively supportive. He was an obstruction," one of the sources said. Several said they are speaking out now because they were upset by Herrera politically benefiting from the issue.

Also in the running, 15 other candidates including out gay former SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Prop 8 Hearings: Before and After


San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who with others filed the lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 that was heard yesterday, gave a rousing speech at a rally on the Eve of Justice Wednesday night.

Yesterday, Herrera appeared on Rachel Maddow to discuss yesterday's arguments.

Herrera said that "difficult questions" were asked but concluded: "What was clear —starkly laid out  — is what the stakes are. And that has implications not just for gay and lesbian couples but for women and other disfavored minority groups here in California as well as the broader population when it comes to the protection of their constiutional rights."

Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Proposition 8 Argued Before California Supreme Court [tr]
Prop 8 'Eve of Justice' Vigils Held Across California: Round-Up [tr]

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