California Council of Churches Condemns Court Decision

May 26, 2009

Calls for Dialogue and Non-Violence in Response

Sacramento, California, May 26, 2009—In light of the California Supreme Court decision announced today to uphold Proposition 8, the California Council of Churches calls for immediate removal of the discrimination written into the state’s constitution. “By allowing the religious views of some faith communities to be imposed on all faith communities, our religious liberty has been severely eroded,” stated Executive Director, the Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser. “All relationships and families deserve equal protection and equal rights under the law.”

read more (pdf)


Prop 8 Legal Challenge Decision

May 26, 2009

click here to read the CA Supreme Court’s press release (pdf)

click here to read the decision (pdf)


Lead Couple in Prop 8 Legal Challenge Release Statement on Court Decision

May 26, 2009

(SAN FRANCISCO) May 26, 2009 — Today, following the ruling of the California Supreme Court in Strauss v. Horton, the LGBT community’s challenge to Proposition 8 brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the ACLU, lead petitioners Karen Strauss and Ruth Borenstein released the following statement:

Karen Strauss:
“I would give anything to be in different circumstances that would allow me to be with you today. Instead, I am at my mother’s bedside in Florida. Her poor health – a major impediment to Ruth’s and my wedding plans last year – has taken the turn our family has been dreading; she is now under hospice care. The opportunity for her to witness my marriage has gone forever. My heart, already on the verge of breaking, has just been dealt an irreparable blow. I was so hoping the court would find its way to a decision that continues, rather than repeals, our equality under the law and that would allow our family to celebrate the love Ruth and I have shared for nearly 18 years. I will continue to work with our large and diverse community toward the day when Ruth and I and any other same-sex couple can marry in California. I will celebrate when that day comes – but when it does, know that the tears of joy that will run down my face will also be tears of great loss and sorrow.”

Ruth Borenstein:
“I am 52 years old. In my lifetime, I have had equal rights for exactly four and one-half months. That is not enough. That brief period came at a particularly difficult time for my and my partner’s aging parents, who could not travel to California before the November election. We chose to wait rather than to have a wedding without our beloved parents there to celebrate with us. Now it is too late. While I am confident that the voters ultimately will overturn Prop 8 and restore our equal rights, having to wait comes at a tremendous personal cost to us and our parents. We’ve already lost my dad and Karen’s mom is in precarious health. This ruling is a devastating disappointment to us and our surviving parents, who had hoped to share our joy at our long-awaited wedding.”

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A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter on the California Supreme Court’s Prop 8 Ruling

May 26, 2009

(San Francisco, California, May 26, 2009) — Today, in a 6 to 1 decision, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry. At the same time, the court unanimously ruled that the more than 18,000 marriages that took place between June 16 and November 4, 2008 continue to be fully valid and recognized by the state of California. The decision reaffirmed the Court’s prior holding that sexual orientation is subject to the highest level of protection under the California Constitution.

A statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

The decision is a terrible blow to the thousands of Californians who woke up this morning hoping and praying their status as equal citizens of this state would be restored. The court’s decision has crushed those hopes and made it painfully clear that we must go back to the voters to restore equality. The majority opinion upheld prop 8 only through tortured logic that ignored its prior recognition that same sex couples and their children are entitled to full equality under the law. No group should have its right to equality put up for a majority vote. And yet that is what the Court permitted in its decision today. That holding has set a dangerous precedent that endangers the most basic principle of our democracy – the right to equal protection of the laws. As Justice Moreno wrote in his dissent, “denying gays and lesbians the right to marry, by wrenching minority rights away from judicial protection and subjecting them instead to a majority vote, attacks the very core of the equal protection principle.”

This is a sad day for California and especially for all the parents who must now explain to their children why their family is not considered equal. But the path before us is now clear. In the days ahead, all those who care about fairness — and especially same-sex couples and their friends and family members — must give voters in California a chance get beyond their fears and help them know and understand our families. Today’s decision was a painful setback, but if we stay united and reach out with love and respect, we will prevail.


Court Upholds Prop 8; State Continues to Recognize 18,000 Marriages

May 26, 2009

Advocacy Groups Vow to Return to Polls to Restore Marriage for Same-sex Couples
05.26.09
—Today, in a 6 to 1 decision, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry. In the ruling authored by Chief Justice Ronald George, the Court stated “We emphasize only that among the various constitutional protections recognized in the Marriage Cases as available to same-sex couples, it is only the designation of marriage — albeit significant — that has been removed by this initiative measure.” At the same time, the court unanimously ruled that the more than 18,000 marriages that took place between June 16 and November 4, 2008 continue to be fully valid and recognized by the state of California. The decision reaffirmed the Court’s prior holding that sexual orientation is subject to the highest level of protection under the California Constitution.

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United We Mourn, United We Stand

May 26, 2009

Kate’s Blog: Out for Justice
5.26.09

Today, the California Supreme Court diminished its legacy as a champion of equality. By upholding Prop 8, an initiative that stripped the right to marry from same-sex couples in California, the Court’s decision has undermined the central principle that all people are entitled to equal rights and has jeopardized every minority group in California. No minority group should have to defend its right to equality at the ballot, and the Court should not have permitted such a travesty of justice to stand.

Today’s decision is dramatically out of step with where the nation is heading. After decades of struggle and hard work, we are living through an unmistakable turning point in the history of our movement. In the past few weeks alone, there has been a tidal wave of momentum in favor of equality for same-sex couples—including a unanimous decision upholding marriage equality from the Iowa Supreme Court; legislative victories in Vermont and Maine; and additional victories on the horizon in New Jersey and New York. Across the country, public opinion is shifting decisively in our favor. Five states have now embraced full marriage equality for same-sex couples, and more are expected to join that list this year. It is devastating that California is no longer one of them. But rest assured: we will be again.

As I wade through my many emotions—heartache, disappointment, grief, anger, and disbelief—one thing is clear: we will regain the freedom to marry in California. It is now up to the people of this state to restore California’s national stature and once again embrace inclusion, fairness, and equality for all.

Together, we will be the first state to repeal a marriage ban at the ballot.

Over the past few months, I have participated in town halls across the state. In every community, I have been moved and encouraged by the resilience and strength of our community and our allies. I have been reminded that we have weathered far worse storms. We fought back against the criminalization of our relationships and violence at the hands of government officials and police, and we must remember that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. We fought back against efforts to strip us of custody of our children. We fought back against medical authorities when they pathologized our love. And we continue to fight against an epidemic that still claims the lives of far too many. By being our authentic selves, by demanding change and full equality, we have changed the law and transformed public opinion. And we have built one of the strongest movements for human freedom and equality of our time.

We must now use that strength to reverse Prop 8 at the ballot. As we band together to realize that goal, the more than 18,000 married same-sex couples must be our ambassadors. They must help others regain the equality that now only some of us enjoy. We must also call on fair-minded Californians to stand with us, come to know our families, and undo the damage caused by Prop 8. Let’s harness the remarkable grassroots energy and activism that sprung to life after Prop 8 passed and reclaim our state’s rightful place as a civil rights leader. We are unified. We are ready. We are resilient. We will stand together with our allies and we will be victorious.

This is not over.

In Solidarity,

kate signature

P.S. Listen to me this Thursday on KALW’s “Out in the Bay” live at 7:00 pm to discuss the ruling in depth.

P.P.S. hope you’ll join me tonight at the Day of Decision rally and, even though I won’t be able to be there because of our annual gala, I hope you’ll be in Fresno on Saturday for Meet in the Middle.

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