Proposition 8 Hub




Newly-Appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Donated To Prop 8 Campaign

On Monday, Brendan Eich (right) became CEO of Mozilla, the software community responsible for developing Firefox, the popular web browser. Formerly the multi-tiered group's chief technology officer, Eich was an understandable but not altogether popular choice for the appointment. One reason some are not pleased? He donated funds in support of California's Proposition 8.

BrendaneichDevelopers Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael have decided to boycott the Mozilla community entirely.

Beta News reports:

"Today we were shocked to read that Brendan Eich has been appointed Mozilla CEO. As a gay couple who were unable to get married in California until recently, we morally cannot support a Foundation that would not only leave someone with hateful views in power, but will give them a promotion and put them in charge of the entire organization", says Hampton Catlin.

Catlin further explains, "I certainly recognize that there are great people at Mozilla. And that lots of people there want the org to be open and supportive. However, the board could have chosen ANY of those other, awesome people at Mozilla to be CEO. Hey, I've got a crazy idea, how about a woman at Mozilla? Nope. Out of all the possible candidates they could have chosen, they chose Brendan Eich. CEO's are extremely important to an organization. Their ideas, beliefs, philosophies, and personalities drive organizations".

Catlin wrote an open letter to Mozilla as well, explaining the boycott and urging the community to remove Eich from his position. 

Statistics reported by Beta News, sourced from the California Secretary of State's office, show that Eich gave $1,000 to support Prop 8. 

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AFER paid $6.4 million to Ted Olson and David Boies' Law Firms in Prop 8 Case

The_Case_Against_8_credit_Diana_WalkerAFER

The Washington Blade is reporting that the American Foundation for Equal Rights paid more than $6.4 million to the two law firms that successfully argued against California’s Proposition 8.

Olson_boies2009-2013 tax filings indicate former Republican U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson’s law firm – Gibson, Dunn & Crtcher LLP – received nearly $6 million from AFER for “legal and ancillary legal expenses,” while David Boies’ law firm – Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP received $468,089.

The paper reports that these expenses include payments to expert witnesses who testified against Prop 8, travel and living expenses for lawyers who lived in San Francisco for a month during a three-week trial over which now retired U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided in 2010, and legal research costs.

“AFER’s case resulted in the return of marriage equality in California for a fraction of the cost of a ballot measure,” AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer told the Washington Blade on Tuesday. 

Tax filings also indicate AFER raised $14,900,467 between April 23, 2009, and March 31, 2013, that Umhoefer told the Blade includes a “large amount” of contributions from Republican donors. He added his organization estimates the Prop 8 case also generated millions of dollars in earned media coverage for which it did not have to pay.

One such piece of media that's generating quite a bit of buzz is The Case Against 8, the film that goes behind the scenes of the high-profile trial. The film has won multiple awards from film festivals this year, including last week's SXSW in Austin. 


LGBT Content Wins Big at SXSW Interactive and Film Awards: VIDEO

The_Case_Against_8_credit_Diana_WalkerAFER

It's been a fantastic ten days, but the 2014 SXSW Festival's panels, films, and music have sadly come to an end. Fortunately, LGBT-related content managed to win top honors at the Interactive Awards Ceremony and Film Festival Audience Awards here in Austin. 

Hrc red logoThe Human Rights Campaign's red logo, which went viral last March during the Prop 8 and DOMA trial hearings at the Supreme Court, was the big winner of the SXSW Interactive Awards, taking home three awards: Social Media, Digital Campaign of the Year, and Best of Show. These categories were voted on by industry experts and highlight the projects that best push the boundaries of what’s possible in digital content and help inspire the next wave of creativity. 

On the film side of things, The Case Against 8, which goes behind the scenes of the high-profile trial that overturned California’s Proposition 8, took home an Audience Award in the “Festival Favorites” category. Shot over five years, this extraordinary film chronicles the two gay couples involved, as well as the unlikely alliance of lead attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, political opponents who last faced off on opposing sides in the landmark Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore

You can check out a video of filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White discussing the film at Sundance earlier this year, AFTER THE JUMP

Catch up on all our coverage of SXSW HERE.

Continue reading "LGBT Content Wins Big at SXSW Interactive and Film Awards: VIDEO" »


Prop. 8 Proponents Continue Battle to Try to Hide California Donors

Prop. 8 proponents continue to fight a losing battle over disclosure of campaign donors, one that at this point seems remarkably silly, according to the court, the SF Chronicle reports:

BoppAt a hearing Friday before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, backers of the hotly contested and now-overturned ballot measure, Proposition 8, sought to keep confidential the names of contributors of $100 or more. But members of the three-judge panel quickly pointed out that the identities of Prop. 8's donors have already been released by court order.

"They've got all this information on the Internet. You want us to ignore it?" asked Judge Milan Smith.

"How can this court redress the grievance that you have?" asked Judge Sandra Ikuta.

By ordering the state to remove the names from its website and seal its files, and by granting an exemption for future elections, replied James Bopp (pictured), lawyer for Prop. 8's main sponsors, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage. He said the organization expects to take part in additional "campaigns regarding protecting marriage."


California to Allow Inmates to Marry Same-sex Partners

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Last week, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that after the Supreme Court decision that allowed marriage equality to resume in California, inmates in the state will know be allowed to marry same-sex partners--as long as their partners aren't in jail.

In a memo released by the CDCR involving the change, the department said that, "[c]onsistent with existing practices, and in furtherance of security concerns ..., a currently incarcerated inmate shall not, at this time, be permitted to marry another currently incarcerated inmate."

According to the Sacramento Bee, the memo was distributed by the office of San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano:

Ammiano's office said in a media release that some prisons had interpreted the law in a way that barred inmates from marrying same-sex partners, prompting a legislative inquiry and the ensuing memo.

"Inmates have the same legal right to marry as those who are not inmates," said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the state corrections department. "The memo clarifies the policy we already had."

You can read the full memo released by the CDCR, AFTER THE JUMP...

(photo by Wally Skalij for the Los Angeles Times)

CDCR memo regarding same sex marriage between inmates


CA Supreme Court Rejects Prop. 8 Proponents' Appeal To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac06de7f970d-800wiThe California Supreme Court has rejected the requests put forth by backers of Prop. 8 to halt same-sex marriage in California. The court had previously denied a request to at least temporarily stop same-sex marriage in California, which resumed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's dismissal of Hollngsworth v. Perry on the grounds of standing, while it considered the legal challenges raised by Prop. 8's proponents. The LA Times reports:

Meeting in closed session, the state high court rejected arguments by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8’s sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law.

A federal judge in San Francisco declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010, and state officials refused to appeal. ProtectMarriage did appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that initiative sponsors have no right to defend their measures in federal court. The decision left in place the ruling by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker.

In its challenge before the state’s highest court, ProtectMarriage argued that a single judge lacked the authority to overturn a state constitutional amendment.  The group also contended that Walker’s injunction applied to two counties at most and that state officials had overstepped their authority by ordering county clerks throughout California to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

State officials countered that the challenge was a veiled attempt to persuade a state court to interfere with a federal judge’s order in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The California Supreme Court's ruling also applies to the briefs filed by San Diego county clerk, Ernest J. Dronenburg, thus putting to an end, at least for now, his contentious attempts to stop same-sex couples from marrying in the Golden State. BuzzFeed reports that California Attorney General Kamala Harris welcomed the court's rejection of the writ of mandate:

"Once again, equality and freedom triumph in California. The California Supreme Court has denied the Proposition 8 proponents’ latest attempt to deny same-sex couples their constitutional right to marry. I applaud the Court’s decision and my office will continue to defend the civil rights of all Californians."


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