Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

Proposition 8 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.

Prop 8 Authors Ask California Supreme Court To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

First-gay-marriageProposition 8 has been dead for less than a month, and already, its advocates are trying to honor its memory by asking the California Supreme Court to order county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. They contend that governor Jerry Brown lacked the authority to put an end to the enforcement of Prop 8, since a provision in the California constitution prohibits officials from refusing to enforce a law unless an appellate court has first determined that said law is unconstitutional. According to the LA Times, "there is no binding appellate ruling that says Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

The 50-page challenge is being filed by Protect Marriage, the same group that sponsored Prop 8, and is stated as “concerning the rule of law and limitations on public officials’ authority.” They claim that the California court has a duty to intervene. If not...

“the end result will be to allow one federal district judge — empowered by state officials who openly advocated for and ceded to Proposition 8’s demise — to nullify a constitutional initiative approved by more than seven million voters.”

Prop-8-yes-noThis new challenge is a continuation of the controversy surrounding the injunction filed by now-retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker. Since the U.S. Supreme Court did not directly issue a ruling on the case, Walker's injunction was left in place. Thus, this new challenge would expect to put a new spin on the earlier decision, especially when it was the subject of such controversy at the time. 

The LA Times remarked that legal experts consider this move to be "an extreme long shot". UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar said to them that the California Supreme Court will likely see this challenge "as an invitation to intervene in a federal matter." Amar went on to explain.

“The California Supreme Court will likely stay out of this and say the scope of Judge Walker’s order is a matter for the federal courts to determine...State courts generally won’t get into the business of construing federal court orders. They leave that to the federal courts.”

The court normally meets on Wednesdays to decide on such challenges. However, they can theoretically issue a decision at any time. They could also simply refuse to intervene, or ask for additional written arguments before issuing a decision. 

The Joyous Day Marriage Equality Returned to California: VIDEO


The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) released a video today that may have you reaching for the Kleenex by the end, capturing the joy of the Prop 8 Supreme Court victory and the first weddings in California.



Continue reading "The Joyous Day Marriage Equality Returned to California: VIDEO" »

HBO Producing Documentary on Battle to Overturn Proposition 8

HBO is working on a documentary based on the battle to overturn Proposition 8 that presumably will focus on David Boies, Ted Olson, and the team that took the case to the Supreme Court, the NYT reports:

Olson-boiesHBO said that two directors, Ben Cotner and Ryan White, have for years had exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the legal team that argued the recent Supreme Court case over Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in the state. The Supreme Court late last month declined to rule on the case, effectively ending the ban.

The still-untitled documentary will be completed by the end of the year and make its debut on HBO sometime next year. Michael Lombardo, HBO’s programming president, in a statement called the movie “the story of a modern-day American revolution” and said it was intended to be “the film of record on this landmark case.”

Adds Deadline:

Cotner is currently SVP of acquisitions at Open Road Films. White’s films include Pelada and Good Ol’ Freda, which will be released in September. The deal was negotiated with HBO on behalf of the filmmakers by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment and Victoria Cook of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

Prop. 8 Plaintiffs Jeff Zarrillo And Paul Katami Reflect After 5 Days Of Marriage: VIDEO

Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami

One week after their historic victory over Prop 8, and just five days after finally saying "I do," Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami sat down with the Daily News to discuss married life in the aftermath of their four-plus-year long battle with the courts, as well as the celebration that took place afterward. 

"It was just such an amazing week because our lives changed in such a profound way, as well as thousands of others," said Zarrillo, "You've seen wedding after wedding on TV and in the newspaper; we saw a lot in person when we were in San Francisco this weekend. Just seeing how their lives are changing because of our lawsuit has been really profound and frankly, a little heavy to take in at times."

Zarrillo Katami WeddingJust two days after the Supreme Court released the ruling that ended Proposition 8, the two men were married at LA City Hall. That day also happened to be the anniversary date of the historic Stonewall riots. Zarrillo was quick to express his pride, stating that, "now we share our anniversary with those brave men and women who just said enough is enough and fought back." Katami expressed similar emotions, which, according to him, started manifesting immediately after the two were finally married.

"I felt taller, I felt lighter. I felt like I could breathe a little easier and I couldn't wait to call him husband...We fought for so long to be able to use that language that defines who we are privately and also associates us publicly...It makes a huge difference."

While the two are absolutely thrilled to finally be an officially married couple, their joy is slightly dampened by the fact that many LGBT couples across the country still don't enjoy their same rights. Two such people were a lesbian couple from Arizona, who drove to San Francisco to join in the celebration. Upon congratulating the two men, one of the women began to cry and explained that they would be returning home to a place where their rights are not recognized. Zarrillo described the experience.

"I'll never forget the look on her face when we let go of the hug and she was crying," Zarrillo said. "I started crying and it stuck with me ever since. I can't get that out of my head, nor should I."

While Katami and Zarrillo, who have opted to keep their names intact, do look forward to resuming their life together as a normal married couple, Katami has conceded that they would still like to be advocates for the cause. To him, they are still naturally suited for the job, "because the voice we lent to our case was a voice that is heard across the country."

Watch a video excerpt from the interview AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Prop. 8 Plaintiffs Jeff Zarrillo And Paul Katami Reflect After 5 Days Of Marriage: VIDEO" »

Rabbi's Marriage Equality Support Provokes Walk-outs At California Synagogue

RabbiWhile conservative religious bigots have already voiced their opposition to the recent pro-equality Supreme Court decisions, it remains to be seen how moderate and progressive religious organizations will handle the new reality of gay visibility.

When David Wolpe, rabbi of the well-known Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, announced in a letter to his synagogue that gay marriages would be performed in the temple as a result of the Prop 8 decision, a sizeable opposition emerged from members of his Conservative Jewish congregation. The Sinai Temple, famous for its wealth and its large population of Persians who fled Iran after the fall of the shah, has splintered in response to the rabbi's decision.

From The New York Times:

Celebrating same-sex marriages is hardly a new stand for Conservative Jewish congregations. But the decision in this distinctive synagogue has set off a storm of protest in recent days, particularly from Persian Jews, reflecting not only the unusual makeup of the congregation but also the generational and cultural divisions among some Jews over how to respond to changing civil views of homosexuality.

"To officiate a union that is expressly not for the same godly purpose of procreation and to call such a relationship 'sanctified' is unacceptable to a sound mind," M. Michael Naim, an architect, said in an open letter to other Iranian members of the congregation. "Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in Scripture and has been categorically and passionately rejected by all classical Jewish legal and ethical thinkers as a cardinal vice in the same category as incest, murder and idolatry."

Rabbi Wolpe said that based on letters he had received, and comments voiced to him as he walked the aisles of the sprawling, sunny sanctuary on Wilshire Boulevard during Saturday morning service, close to half of the congregation of 2,000 families, which is about half Persian, was unhappy with the new policy.

As many as 10 families have already announced their intention to leave the congregation. Wolpe, however, remains unfazed by any potential backlash. He sees the decision as one of fairness and in line with the best tradition of the Conservative movement, which views the Torah as a living document that allows room for new understandings and approaches.

"As we have modernized the role of women and many other practices, the demand on the part of our brothers and sisters who are gay to be able to live in a sanctified relationship is a call to our conscience and our responsibility as Jews."

Wolpe later added, "I've been wanting to do this for a long time"



Towleroad - Blogged