Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prop H8: Judge Lets San Francisco Join Federal Law Suit, But Not LGBT Orgs

(Originally at OC Progressive)

H/T to Pam's House Blend for picking up the news from Law Dork:

The news today has come from San Francisco that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker set a rather quick trial date and has denied the request of several LGBT community groups in California — represented by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR — to intervene in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit challenging the constitutional validity of Proposition 8. The similar request of the Campaign for California Families, which had supported Proposition 8, to intervene also was denied.

Judge Walker did, however, grant the request of the City of San Francisco to intervene. According to Lambda Legal’s Jason Howe, the judge “said they showed a government interest that wasn’t represented by any of the current parties.”

What this means, basically, is that Ted Olson and David Boies, along with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, will be the lawyers now controlling this challenge to Proposition 8, considered by many to be the most broad, grand-scale attack on marriage discrimination of all those brought in recent years. It is not yet clear how Vaughn ruled in terms of whether both plaintiff groups — the AFER plaintiffs and the City Intervenor-Plaintiff — will be responsible for all decisions or whether Walker named one lead plaintiff in the case.

The ramifications of an appellate or Supreme Court ruling would have impact far outside California’s borders, with a success for the plaintiffs calling into question other state amendments banning lesbian and gay couples from marrying, as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

To be fair, I'll include the joint Lambda Legal/ACLU/NCLR statement down below. However, I first want to make a quick comment.

It wasn't that long ago when these same organizations that are supposed to advocate for the LGBT community were trying to prevent this law suit from even happening. They publicly maligned the American Foundation for Equal Rights in the press. And now they want to hijack this case since it will be heard in federal court after all?

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate what these groups have done in the past to advance our legal rights in the courts. I think they did their best in the Strauss v. Horton case in the California Supreme Court challenging Prop H8. But since they didn't even want the case in federal court to start with, why should they be allowed to intervene in this case? Let Chad Griffin, David Boies, and Ted Olson handle it. We'll see how successful they will ultimately be. Hopefully, they'll figure out how to be successful and Nevada's ugly and discriminatory Question 2 marriage ban can go down with California's Prop H8 and all the other state marriage bans.

LGBT Community Groups Disappointed By Court's Denial To Join Federal
Prop 8 Case

SAN FRANCISCO - Today Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District
Court in San Francisco denied the request of Our Family Coalition;
Lavender Seniors of the East Bay; and Parents, Families, and Friends
of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to join Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a
federal lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8.

A statement by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the National Center for
Lesbian Rights:

On behalf of our clients, we are disappointed that the court did not
permit organizations that represent California's diverse lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to participate in the
case as the Court weighs the harms inflicted by Proposition 8. The
significance of this case for our entire community is enormous. To
exclude the people whose very freedom is at stake is troubling.

Our commitment to restoring marriage for all Californians is
unwavering, and we will continue to do everything within our power to
secure full equality and justice for LGBT people.


No comments:

Post a Comment