Proposition 8 Challengers: A conversation with Ed Todeschini

February 27, 2009

by Chris Caesar and Vik Jolly, The Orange County Register

Ed Todeschini is Co-chair of Human Rights Committee Orange County. He spoke to the Register as a private citizen about Proposition 8.

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California Court to Hear Prop 8 Case Next Week

February 27, 2009

by Chris Johnson, Washington Blade

Gay activists, NAACP urge justices to overturn same-sex marriage ban

Activists in California are urging the state Supreme Court to invalidate the recently approved ban on same-sex marriage, as a court hearing on the issue draws near.

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Standing Together and Continuing the Conversation

February 26, 2009

Next Thursday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments in our legal challenge to Proposition 8. As we seek to overturn Prop 8, we have the broadest array of support ever seen on an LGBT issue before any California Court. This support speaks directly to the relationships and coalition work that many in the LGBT, religious, business, and civil rights communities have been doing for years. However, there is another truth motivating the breadth of voices calling on the court to invalidate Prop 8. Prop 8 is an assault on the California Constitution and the most fundamental principal of any functioning democracy: all people will be treated equally under the law.

As a white lesbian leading a national LGBT legal organization and a straight, African-American Christian leading a national civil rights legal organization, we stand side-by-side in common cause. Racism and homophobia undermine and diminish any dream of a just and fair nation. If allowed to stand, Prop 8 would eviscerate equal protection of the law and leave every minority in California vulnerable to majority sentiment and whim. Today it may be same-sex couples and that is unacceptable under any circumstance, but tomorrow any unpopular minority could be next.

In this fight for justice we are sisters, and we ask that every fair-minded Californian join our family in standing against Prop 8. We ask you to join us and engage in conversations about the harms Prop 8 poses to all Californians. Please, talk to your friends and family, attend rallies and marches, post and comment on blogs, and write letters to the editor. Please visit our GET INVOLVED section of our website for tips on how to have these important conversations.

As you talk about the harms of Prop 8, please remember to acknowledge the essential role of the Court in protecting minority rights and remind your audience of the threat that Prop 8 poses to freedom and equality for all Californians. If a bare majority of voters can change our state Constitution to take away rights from a historically targeted minority group, what is the point of having a California Constitution?

It is crucial that our community and allies stand up against this harmful proposition and be visible. It is our chance to show the world that we will not stand for discrimination and intolerance. So make your voice heard today. Click here for some sample letters and blog posts that you can use to draft your own personalized letter.

Our nation is on a new path. A path that makes us all feel a renewed sense of shared values, hope, and humanity. Prop 8 demeans us all and stains our collective vision of a new day. Such a law should not be permitted to stand.

Kate Kendell
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Eva Jefferson Paterson
Equal Justice Society

Support the NAACP’s Opposition to Prop 8

February 25, 2009

Dear NCLR Supporter,

You may have heard the great news recently that the NAACP came out in support of the California legislature’s resolution against Prop 8. NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous urged passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7, resolutions calling for the invalidation of Prop 8.

The NAACP has been a long-time supporter of full equality for all citizens, and their stance on marriage equality is just further evidence of their deep and abiding commitment to equal rights. Their leadership throughout the fight for marriage equality has been invaluable. Having such a visible and powerful ally has transformed the conversation about marriage equality, not just in California, but across the nation. We are deeply indebted to the NAACP for their vocal support, which is why we need you to speak up and show your support ASAP. The resolutions are expected to be voted on by March 2nd.

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

We would not be where we are today without the strength and support of our allies. Please take the time to thank them.

In Solidarity,

Kate Kendell, Esq.
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Prop 8 Could Unravel Minority Rights, Opponents Say

February 25, 2009

by Nicole Brambila, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Court to hear oral arguments challenging validity of ban
If the state Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8, the ruling will constitute a giant step back for civil rights for all minority groups, advocates for marriage equality told The Desert Sun editorial board Tuesday.

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California Senate Committee Sides with Prop. 8 Foes

February 24, 2009

The Associated Press

(Sacramento, CA)–A state Senate committee has sided with opponents of Proposition 8 in the court battle over gay marriage. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve a resolution that says the proposition’s ban on same-sex marriages was a constitutional revision. As such, it would have needed approval from the Legislature to reach last November’s ballot.

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Gay Marriage Needs a Vote

February 24, 2009

New York Times Editorial

Same-sex couples deserve full equality under the law, and that includes the right to marry.

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NAACP Expresses Support for California Legislature’s Challenge

February 23, 2009

Resolution would put California legislature on record as opposing Prop. 8 and urging California Supreme Court to overturn it

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today announced support of measures before the California legislature challenging Proposition 8, which altered the California Constitution to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry and equal protection under the law.

In a letter to legislative leaders, NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous urged passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7 to put the legislature on record calling for invalidation of Prop. 8 as an improper and dangerous alteration of the California Constitution.

“The NAACP’s mission is to help create a society where all Americans have equal protection and opportunity under the law,” said President Jealous. “Our Mission Statement calls for the ‘equality of rights of all persons.’ Prop. 8 strips same-sex couples of a fundamental freedom, as defined by the California State Supreme Court. In so doing, it poses a serious threat to all Americans. Prop. 8 is a discriminatory, unprecedented change to the California Constitution that, if allowed to stand, would undermine the very purpose of a constitution and courts – assuring equal protection and opportunity for all and safeguarding minorities from the tyranny of the majority.”

SR 7, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 24th and will proceed to the full Senate for a vote shortly thereafter. Its companion bill, HR 5, also sponsored by EQCA, passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Feb. 17th and is eligible for a vote before the full Assembly as early as today.

The California State Conference of the NAACP filed briefs with the California Supreme Court in the legal challenge against Prop. 8, arguing that the measure drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California’s Constitution and that the rights of a minority cannot be eliminated by a simple majority vote. Several other civil rights organizations, faith leaders, unions and leading corporations also filed briefs urging the invalidation of Prop. 8.

“The NAACP has long opposed any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any groups or individuals from guarantees of equal protection,” said Chairman Bond. “We urge the legislature to declare that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper protective process and should be overturned as an invalid alteration that vitiated crucial constitutional safeguards and fundamental American values, threatening civil rights and all vulnerable minorities.”

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on March 5th and could rule as early as June 2009.

Marriage Ruling Gave Gay People Legal Protection

February 23, 2009

by Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer

Tucked deep within the state Supreme Court’s sweeping decision in May that struck down same-sex-marriage bans for a time is a single sentence that will have a significant effect for years – regardless of any new turns in the same-sex-marriage debate.

This Is the Way the Culture Wars End

February 23, 2009

by William Saletan, New York Times Op-ed Contributor

President Obama wants to end the culture wars. He recently called for “common ground” on abortion reduction and an end to the “stale and fruitless debate” over family planning. His joint address to Congress this week could be an opportunity to change that debate. But to make a real difference, he’ll have to tell two truths that the left and the right don’t want to hear: that morality has to be practical, and that practicality requires morals.

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