Arts & Entertainment
Prop 8 is back in court
by Rex Wockner
Originally printed 12/2/2010 (Issue 1848 - Between The Lines News)
Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that re-banned same-sex marriage in 2008, returns to the federal courtroom Dec. 6 - this time at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Prop 8 was struck down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco on Aug. 4. Twelve days later, however, the 9th Circuit blocked any same-sex marriages from taking place in California while proponents of the ban attempt to appeal Walker's ruling.
Oral arguments in the appeal will take place for two hours starting at 10 a.m. Dec. 6. It will be the only courtroom action at the appeals-court level.
In the first hour, the parties will address the question of whether any entity has legal standing to appeal Walker's ruling. The state of California and the county clerks who were sued in the case have refused to defend Prop 8 in federal court.
The people who put Prop 8 on the ballot are hoping to be granted standing to proceed with their appeal. In addition, the Southern California desert county of Imperial is seeking to intervene in the case as a defendant.
It is unclear if either of these parties will achieve standing. If they do not, the case is over and Walker's ruling will take effect. Or the parties could appeal the standing issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the second hour of the hearing, lawyers will seek to defend or destroy Walker's determination that Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law. Those arguments will become irrelevant if no Prop 8 opponent achieves standing in the case.
Walker found that there is no "rational basis" for Prop 8's existence and that voters inserted it into the state's constitution solely to express "moral disapproval" of gay people.
He blamed pro-Prop 8 campaigners for fueling such disapproval by airing misleading TV ads and distributing material that "relied heavily on negative stereotypes about gays and lesbians and focused on protecting children from inchoate threats vaguely associated with gays and lesbians."
The 9th Circuit hearing will be aired live by C-SPAN and several California television outlets.
- Gay Weddings Become Reality In Hawaii
- US Court Reviews Gay Russian's Asylum Case
- Gay Rights Fight Comes To Texas, Despite Ban
- Cardinal: Catholics 'Outmarketed' On Gay Marriage
- Gay Artifacts Subject Of New Museum Collection
- Nebraska County Eyes Benefits For Same-Sex Couples
- Plaintiffs In Gay Marriage Suit Say Minds Changing
- With Survey, Vatican Asks Laity About Gay Marriage, Gay Families
- Mo. National Guard Handling IDs For Gay Spouses
- Judge Sets June 9 Trial On Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Suit
- Conn. Football Captain Charged With Killing Lover
- Ark. Clerk: Gay marriage Lawsuit A State Issue
- Rubio To Anti-Gay Group: Nation's Morality At Risk
- Olympic Sponsors Face Pressure Over Anti-Gay Law
- A Decade After Mass. Ruling, Gay Marriage Gains
- Ky. Guard Allowing Benefits For Same-Sex Marriages
- Pa. Gay Marriage Suit Takes Big Step Toward Trial
- Mo. To Accept Joint Tax Returns From Gay Couples
- Cardinal George Blasts Gay Marriage In Letter
- Mo. Lawmaker Wants AG Opinion On Gay Tax Policy