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On the Prop 8 Stay and Standing

Trial analysis

by Brian Devine

I predict we’ll have Judge Walker’s ruling on the Motion to Stay either today or tomorrow.  And I predict he’ll deny the stay, allowing same-sex couples full marriage equality for the first time since that bittersweet night in November 2008.

While we wait, let’s take a look the issue of “standing” and what it means to the stay and the appeal of Judge Walker’s opinion.

What’s “Standing”

Article III of the US Constitution gives Federal Courts the limited jurisdiction to decide actual cases or controversies. This is referred to as “Article III standing.” To have standing to bring a lawsuit or to pursue an appeal, a party must show that he or she has suffered an: “injury in fact —— an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.”

To appeal a decision, the Prop 8 supporters must show that allowing same-sex couples the right to get married somehow invades their rights and causes them harm.  Remember, though, that Judge Walker already ruled that “Proposition 8 does not affect the rights of those opposed to homosexuality or to marriage for couples of the same sex.” In other words, if Prop 8 did not exist, the rights of those people who support Prop 8 would not be affected.  Consistent with this holding, Judge Walker should find that the Prop 8 supporters do not have standing because they will not suffer any “concrete and particularized” harm if Prop 8 is not enforced.

The best argument that Prop 8 supporters can make is that they would be injured by the simple fact that California is not enforcing a law passed by the People.  But the Supreme Court has held that “[an] asserted right to have the Government act in accordance with law is not sufficient, standing alone, to confer jurisdiction on a federal court.” (Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 754 (1984))

I think there’s a good chance Judge Walker will find that the Prop 8 supporters lack standing.  The only parties in the case who do have standing (the Plaintiffs and the State) have not appealed and have affirmatively said that they do not want a stay.  This means that if Judge Walker finds that the Prop 8 supporters do not have standing, he also will deny the motion to stay.

There is more…

Didn’t Judge Walker Already Rule That The Prop 8 Supporters Have Standing?

No.  Judge Walker decided that the Prop 8 Backers could intervene, not that they have Article III standing.  To intervene in a case, a party does not need to show that they have standing. That’s because a “case or controversy” already exists.  (The Plaintiffs had standing to bring the case because they were being denied their constitutional right to get married.)  Since both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants already had standing, the Court had jurisdication over the “case.” From there, deciding that the Prop 8 supporters could intervene in the case was an easy call.  The law of the Ninth Circuit holds that a “public interest group may have a protectable interest in defending the legality of a measure it had supported.”

But this does not mean that it has standing. To the contrary, on several occasions the Supreme Court has recognized that a party who was allowed to intervene in litigation does not necessarily have standing.  For example, the Supreme Court said:

[I]f the original party on whose side a party intervened drops out of the litigation, the intervenor will then have to establish its own standing to continue pursuing litigation. (Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54, 64, (1986))

Could This End Here And Now?

Maybe at the Ninth Circuit.  While the popular spin is that this case “is certain to be resolved at the Supreme Court,” that’s not entirely clear.  If Judge Walker rules that the Prop 8 supporters do not have standing, that does not necessarily mean they can’t appeal.  The Ninth Circuit will independently decide the issue of standing.  But if the Ninth Circuit decides that the supporters of Prop 8 do not have standing, it will reach only the issue of standing, not the much harder question of deciding whether Prop 8 is constitutional.

If A Stay Is Granted, Can The State Still Issue Marriage Licenses?

Yes.  All a stay does is prevent the Court Clerk from entering judgment.  It does not erase Judge Walker’s decision, and it does not prohibit the defendant (the State) from voluntarily complying with the decision by issuing marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of gender.  A Federal District Judge has declared that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.  Even if judgment in the case is stayed pending appeal, it would be perfectly reasonable for the State to decide that it will stop enforcing Prop 8 until and unless Judge Walker’s decision is reversed by another Court.

If the State began enforcing Judge Walker’s opinion on its own, I would expect the Prop 8 supporters to file a new lawsuit (in State Court) seeking an injunction requiring the State to enforce Prop 8. This might bring back memories of 2004 when the Supreme Court held that the City and County of San Francisco did not have the authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  However, that case (Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco) was based on California Constitution Article III, section 3.5 which prohibits administrative agencies from deciding on their own to not enforce laws based on their belief that the law is unconstitutional.  However, if the Governor or the Attorney General made that decision, section 3.5 does not apply.  I haven’t researched it, but I don’t know that anything would prohibit the Governor or the Attorney General from deciding to enforce a District Court’s order declaring Prop 8 invalid, even if that judgment were stayed pending appeal.

So with that, we now wait for Judge Walker order on the Motion to Stay. . .  Stay tuned . . .

169 Comments

  • 1. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Subscribing

  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Scrubbing for surgery!

  • 3. Tracy  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:43 am

    On the other hand, the decision by Judge Walker is strong – carefully worded for the federal courts to weigh in on the side of justice. If the Ninth Circuit fails to hear the case, the ruling will have much more limited scope in terms of precendent. Is that not correct?

  • 4. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Brian, if I understand what you're saying is that Walker may deny the stay based on a determination that Proponents don't have standing to appeal, correct? Would it be typical for a trial judge to make this decision, rather than leaving that determination up to the appeals court, given that there are other equally sound reasons he could use to deny the stay?

    I posted this in the prior post, but here it is again, Arthur Leonard's discussion of the issue of standing: http://newyorklawschool.typepad.com/leonardlink/2

    Also, this idea that California has a legitimate legal reason to stop enforcing Prop 8, despite the stay, hadn't occurred to me before. Again, an interesting new perspective.

    Thanks!

  • 5. Brian Leubitz  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

    yes, that's right. However, taking the short view, that would also mean that the Prop 8 decision is final.

  • 6. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

    scrubbity-scribing.

  • 7. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Tracy, Yes. If this case is not appealed, it will have the effect of making Prop 8 unenforceable but that will only directly impact California.

  • 8. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I would hope that the decision of standing will be left up to the 9th Circuit, of course, if Judge Walker rules they don't have standing and that is appealed, it's inevitable. There's precedent and Judge Walker can cite that, but the intervenors have never shown they would suffer any damage (no matter what they say; they've never shown it). And the 9th Circuit needs to be the ones upholding that. I would hope the State resumes issuing licenses, if nothing more than to have even more evidence no harm is done to anyone.

  • 9. Ronnie  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I'm staying tuned to hear about the stay….oh & subscribing…Brian that was a great read…Thank you….<3…Ronnie

  • 10. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Upon appeal, the legal arguments are considered anew. The 9th district could reverse Walker's ruling or narrow it to be very California specific or word it very broadly.

    It's most likely we would get a narrow opinion from the court at best. At worst, we get a reversal.

    I would be prepared for this case to end shortly.

    Whether AFER would file another case in Washington or some other state would remain to be seen…

  • 11. Be_devine  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

    For Californians, a win is a win, regardless of whether it's final at the Supreme Court or the Northern District. For the case to have significance beyond California, you're right that the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court must address the case on its merits.

  • 12. Be_devine  |  August 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

    You're right that the Ninth Circuit will address the issue of standing. But as a crucial part of the analysis in deciding whether to grant the motion to stay, Judge Walker must evaluate the likelihood of Intervenors prevailing on appeal. If he finds that they lack standing, they have no likelihood of prevailing on appeal. As a consequence, the stay likely would be denied.

  • 13. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Subscribing and coming out of the closet.

    Trish (formerly l8r_g8r)

  • 14. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:01 am

    This is just fascinating. Oh, the suspense.

  • 15. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Gotcha. Thanks.

  • 16. Be_devine  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

    "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" -Harvey Milk 😛

  • 17. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I think it is possible that Walker would consider the fact that DI's may not have standing as part of the "likelihood of success on the merits" portion of the stay analysis, rather than actually making a determination of whether DIs actually do have standing to appeal. Walker doesn't have jurisdiction to hold that DI's don't have standing to appeal.

  • 18. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Hi Trish. Sent you a friend request on fb. :)

  • 19. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Just as Be_Devine addressed four minutes earlier… I need to refresh before I post anything. 😉

  • 20. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Heh, I sent a FB friend request also.

  • 21. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:05 am

    your contributions to this discussion have been invaluable (and it's nice to meet you, Trish)

  • 22. Straight Grandmother  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Well I hope you are wrong (nothing personal in that.) Why do you suppose then that Mr. Olson adn Mr. Boies have said time and time again that this will go to the Supreme Court? Surly they know the case better than anyone. I doubt they were leading us on.

  • 23. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Same here

  • 24. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Thanks! And accepted the friend requests.

  • 25. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Refresh? (Me too)

  • 26. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I think Olson/Boies were doing what they needed to do to win the case, and that meant burying the issue of standing for the time being.

  • 27. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I find that the most baffling part in all of this. Even after the response to the stay Boise (in an interview) said "the Supreme Court can't wait to get it's hands all over this." Well…how if the DI's have no standing?

  • 28. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Although everyone in favor of full equality hopes that this case gets to the Supreme Court and that the Supreme Court will determine that Proposition 8 (and by extension, all laws banning marriage between persons of the same sex) are unconstitutional.

    However, the Olson/Boies team must first, above all else, advocate zealously for their clients. Unfortunately, I am not one of their clients and so they cannot put our interests in getting this issue resolved nationally in front of the interests of their clients, whose interests will be better served by not having this case appealed.

  • 29. Steve  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Kathleen,

    I found this article interesting, but I admit I lack the full legal knowledge to be sure I understand the implications.

    Is it possible that the defendant-intervenors are not allowed to appeal the ruling, that it must be done by the named defendants in the case?

  • 30. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Steve, that's exactly the question. the D-Is may not have standing to appeal. The named defendants are unlikely to appeal. If that were to be the case, Walker's decision would stand.

  • 31. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:25 am

    If indeed Defendant-Intervenors lack standing, then there would be no appeal and the District Court decision will stand. The original named defendants would have to appeal for the case to go forward, which none is willing to do.

    This would be a victory for the plaintiffs, a victory for Olson and Boies, and a victory for California. But it would not have effects beyond California's borders.

  • 32. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Hello everyone!
    It seems that Judge Walker made sure he had all his ducks in a row, t's crossed, and i's dotted. It was very much worth the wait. And I was getting impatient,LOL.
    The proponents in this case can not possible prove that they have standing.
    Is it too early to say that this is the beggining of the end for these hateful propositions in this country?

  • 33. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I have a thought about any ruling and the application to other states. Suppose we get a ruling of gays being a suspect class. Are there any rulings that specifically say we are not a suspect class, or do they all have other arguments without being that broad? If not, then one could argue that any of the constitutional amendments in other states did in fact take away rights that we already were supposed to have. For example, before Loving, people of different races had the right to marry, except there were (now unconstitutional) laws that barred these people from their rights. Couldn't the same be said now?

    Even if we don't get a suspect class ruling, and there was a ruling that said CA Prop 8 took away rights that were already there in the first place, wouldn't that mean that before all these other states added a constitutional amendment, we already had the right in those states and they too were taken away? I have been hearing people make this case about CA being unique, but if this is the ruling we get in higher courts, then couldn't the same be said for every other state, too?

    IANAL, but that was what I was pondering this afternoon in the gym.

    OT, but I ran a 5k on the elliptical today faster than I ever ran it in high school. I need to get some new shoes and see how I fare in the real world now!

  • 34. Straight Grandmother  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

    A little OT while we wait for some decisions to come in, I posted this on antoher thread, that I thought we should start using the word discrimination more. I know I have, and have seen most of you use the word Equality. I went back to Judge Walkers decision and counted 59 times where he used the word discrimination or discriminates.

    We have the ruling, I think we should make an effort to use the word discrimination in our discussions just as Judge Walker did in his verdict. He called a spade a spade 59 times, we are victims of discrimination. Orientation-Discrimination.

  • 35. Episcopal Bear  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

    So, let's say that by whatever means, the Prop H8 proponents are denied standing and therefore denied appeal. Is it then worth it to convince the Governator and/or the Cali. AG to appeal, with an eye on broadening the geographical reach of the decision? And possibly getting a favorable SCOTUS decision?

    Or, should we stick with Cali. alone and wait for the inevitable Full Faith & Credit Clause appeal and/or the Mass. ruling against DOMA?

  • 36. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

    oops "possibly"

  • 37. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:29 am

    @ E Bear, let's not let our optimism run away with us. Any appeal puts Judge Walker's fine ruling in jeopardy of being overturned.

    Also, as a citizen of California, I don't care to fund an appeal by the State of this fine ruling.

  • 38. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Here's hoping my and my partner can get married in California in October….seems like it may be possible :) Very hopeful! Thanks for the post!

  • 39. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

    'Closets are for Clothes'
    welcome into the light Trish :-)

  • 40. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Well, they did spend a lot of money on marketing Prop 8….

  • 41. AndrewPDX  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Actually, if memory serves, I believe most quotes are more along the lines of "this issue is certain to be resolved at the Supreme Court."
    For full elimination of Orientation Discrimination in this nation (how's that sound, SG? :D), it will ultimately be by SCOTUS.

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 42. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Being in one of the other 9th circuit states, I an my 'husbear' are hoping and praying for an appeal so this can be broadened out…..the small amount of money it wuld cost in exchange for the rights and freedoms of so many more LGBT persons is in my opinion well worth the cost.
    IMHO

  • 43. MJFargo  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I think the attorney general and governor have made it clear both at the trial and afterward that they want no hand in Prop 8.

  • 44. Episcopal Bear  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:37 am

    @ Ann S. ~

    Excellent point about not wanting to fund an appeal!

    And maybe I am being overly optimistic, but Judge Walker's fine ruling is so well crafted that appealing all the way may a good thing, especially since the decision seems to be tailored for Justice Kenned to rule in our favor.

  • 45. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I don't believe that it would be worth that. Yes, the bigger case is important, but why would we want to put those in California who had WON at that point, through the risk of losing again?

    I would imagine it would be better to simply use this case as precedent and a terrific roadmap for future cases.

  • 46. Steve  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for the info, Ann and Trish.

    As a side note, being someone who lives outside California (and actually even outside the 9th District), I really do hope that it goes further and that we win.

    A victory in California is but a battle… A victory in the SCotUS (while tougher) would win the war.

  • 47. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Does anyone know for certain where NOM's current headquarters are? Their website says Princeton, NJ, but then it also still lists Maggie as President.

    I found this article form late last year saying they're relocating to DC. http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=4447

    Anyone know for certain what their current official address is?

  • 48. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:46 am

    This just in from OneNewsNow
    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=1

    <blockquoteKagan – a solid vote for homosexual 'marriage'
    Chris Woodward – OneNewsNow – 8/9/2010 6:00:00 AMBookmark and Share

    gay marriage 3A judicial analyst with Focus on the Family says recently sworn-in Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan would be a sure vote favoring same-sex "marriage."

    Kagan was sworn into the Supreme Court on Saturday. Legal experts say she will support same-gender marriage. But Bruce Hausknecht with Focus on the Family points out that Kagan may not be the only one on the bench who would do that.

    "I firmly believe that Elena Kagan is a solid, liberal vote for same-sex marriage," he states. "The question is perhaps what does Justice [Anthony] Kennedy think about this. Since he wrote the Lawrence v. Texas opinion, he's provided evidence that he's in the camp of same-sex marriage."

    Bruce HausknechtSo what does Hausknecht think justices need to consider if the issue goes before the high court? "I will say that the Supreme Court, even the liberals on the court, ought to be thinking at least twice about the culture wars they will ignite — just like they did with Roe v. Wade — if they were to affirm this ruling," he replies.

    That said, the analyst suggests that the Supreme Court justices leave the matter up to the states. "They would be smart, even if they want to uphold liberal ideals, to leave this in the legislatures' hands around the country," he says.

    Hausknecht made his comments recently during an interview on Today's Issues on American Family Radio.

    I'll just take the last quote: "They would be smart, even if they want to uphold liberal ideals, to leave this in the legislatures' hands around the country,"

    So why shouldn't the Supreme Court leave it up to the states? Because evidence has shown that this in fact leads to discrimination that is sponsored by the state!

  • 49. James Tuttle  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Hey, Greg I've always wanted to wed in October too…hopefully we both can. In any case…the more we wait for a decision on a stay and any further judicial action the more my brain starts hurting. Its not that I don't understand what all the different scenarios are and how they play out, its just that everything at this point seems so convoluted. There are a million little possibilities that can lead this case in any number of directions. And again…we wait. I'm not frustrated I'm just so damn anxious.

  • 50. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Crap. classic coding mistake. The article ends at "American Family Radio."

  • 51. Tony Douglass in CA  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:51 am

    I google the Domain ownership of natinalorganizationformairrage.org, and it is registered to BSB out of some city in NJ, can't rememberwhich, and don't have access right now to look it up again.

  • 52. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:52 am

    You just described the law.

  • 53. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:54 am

    @Anonygirl, I agree. Not that it's up to me or any of us except the plaintiffs, but if I had my druthers we wouldn't jeopardize this win by appealing if we can help it.

    Anyway, the issue is out there, and it's likely the 9th Circuit (at least) will have to rule on the standing issue, regardless of what any of us wants.

  • 54. shrpblnd  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Long time lurker here, but now I just can't resist chiming in. Even if Judge Walker does not grant a stay, and the case is not appealed to the ninth circuit due to issues with standing, do NOT understimate the impact of having gay marriage legal in the state of California.

    California is the most populous state in the union, and actions here reverberate thoughout US. Apart from this, California is a cultural leader, largely because of Hollywood. Ideas, trends, and yes even political actions that occur here have an outsized impact on the rest of the United States, and even the world.

    This is why the Prop 8 supporters mobilized such a massive hate effort to block same sex marriage. Any loss by them, which lets gay marriage stand in this state is a win, a huge win.

  • 55. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Thanks, Tony. Hadn't thought about looking up the domain. Whois says it's registered to BSB at the Princeton address on their website. So do I assume this is the correct current address for them? There is someone sending an official letter and wants to be sure it's going to the correct place (more on this later)

  • 56. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:58 am

    We already have a ruling that gays are a suspect class. Justice Walker said so in his ruling. It's not automatically applicable to areas outside his jurisdiction, but it's a ruling that can be cited elsewhere.

    Walker's ruling contains specific facts about the campaign waged in California. In CA specifically, the proponents used anti-gay prejudice in their advertising. I'm not sure that was the case in states other than California and Maine, since I didn't follow other campaigns. I suspect in places like Virginia, they didn't even have to advertise to pass their amendments, so there may be no 'record' of proponents promoting prejudice. (sorry for any offense at making sweeping judgements about the people of Virginia, but they have one of the most hateful amendments.)

  • 57. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

    They used to be based in NJ. They moved operation to DC a few years ago.

  • 58. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

    @Anna, I believe the Maine campaign just recycled all their materials from the CA campaign. I don't know about Virginia.

  • 59. Bill  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I suppose the question is whether the 9th Circuit wants to hear the case, or just let in apply to California only. Judges also read election returns–I'm too much a cynic. The US Supreme Court may be in the same situation where it would rather wait until the issue is determined in other states.

    Also, the California Supreme Court already has made gays a suspect class as part of its decision upholding marriage. This was not changed by Prop 8–only the use of the term marriage.

    Finally, if Walker's decision stands, his fact finding also stands–and that is comprehensive on the state of social science. Other Federal courts can find their own conclusions, and may just give deference to his fact finding. But the fact finding does establish a standard for social science studies that will have to be rebutted in another jurisdiction. NOM and others have yet to get on the witness stand with their often cited studies (never very specific about where they were published or reviewed, or even a title of the article or book).

  • 60. BrianT  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Reading through this, it seems reasonable that Walker's decision will not be appealed due to lack of standing.

    (My personal feeling is this is EXACTLY the kind of get-out-of-jail free card SCOTUS would be happy to use to avoid having to rule on this issue now)

    So my questions are, IF that has occured, has anyone approached Olson/Boise with regards to what to do next?
    * Would they be willing to take on a similiar case in another of the many states with similiar constitutional ammendments?
    * Would they be willing to advise others in how to pursue such similiar cases?
    * What is the best course of action they would reccomend to extend the reach of this decision beyond California sans a Ninth Circuit/SCOTUS appeal?

  • 61. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I'm totally bummed. It seems twitter suspended my account :-(. Sent an email request, but if you have any friends at twitter, put in a good word for me…

    I don't know what I will do if I can't tweet "from" the marriage rally tomorrow!

  • 62. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    @ Anonygrl: For the good of the many perhaps?

    '…but why would we want to put those in California who had WON at that point, through the risk of losing again?'

  • 63. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Anna, I saw the article saying they intended to move to DC. but can't find anything to show they've actually made the move. Their website still shows NJ, their domain was renewed in May of this year with the NJ address, and their 2008 IRS filing uses the NJ address.

  • 64. Bill  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Of course, if other courts find different conclusions then the matter will likely be heard by higher appeals courts, or the US Supreme Court if the other court is in another circuit.

    I'm not sure if Walker's findings would apply to other states or would just be considered applicable to Calif only.

  • 65. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Bill, appeal to the circuit courts is by right, not like with the SCOTUS. If they have standing, the 9th Circuit has to hear the appeal.

    The suspect classification holding by the CA Supreme Court applies to CA law, not federal law.

  • 66. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I hope I did that right. Here is an article from when Brian moved to DC. Catch the caption under the picture of him and his wife…. then tag "until he brainwashed her" to it.

  • 67. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Anonygirl, the link didn't come through. If they're in DC, then what is their address?

  • 68. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Brian, I was thinking about that too.

    If everything stands as-is now, would someone then go after DOMA in California – to get federal rights for all the marriages?

  • 69. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Oops… I always forget this one….

    Let's try again.

  • 70. Dave in Maine  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Good thing I don't have anything else to do at home but read read read read READ!

    Actually, it's good to be reading all this and to become all knowledgeable because so many people ask me if I've heard about the ruling (as if I wasn't glued to the screen Wednesday afternoon!) and then ask me what it means. Of course I'm no expert, but reading the analysis and commentary has helped me answer the questions my straight (AND gay!) friends have on the issue.

    Thanks Prop 8 Trial Tracker writers and commenters!!

    Dave

  • 71. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Brian S. Brown
    President
    National Organization for Marriage
    2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20006
    bbrown@nationformarriage.org

  • 72. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Wow, LLB, where did that come from?

  • 73. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:12 am

    2029 K Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20006-1004
    (202) 457-8060

    According to Google.

  • 74. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:13 am

    http://www.miketidmus.com/blog/2010/07/27/noms-br

  • 75. rf  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I think the princeton address was always just a front–its not that far from me–an office with a phone so maybe they kept it to keep people away and to get messages?

    Maggie Srivastav has lived in westchester county ny for years and BB was in cali then moved to great falls virginia (according to that glowing article the wapo did last year) so if I had to guess, look up BB's home address in the tax records–and you'll find noms real headquarters.

    and here's a little slice of homespun goodness from Brian browns' wife in that WAPO article:

    When she and Brian got engaged, she envisioned normal family life, both of them returning from their jobs — she was a high school English teacher — and having family dinner. Now, while he's crusading, she deals with home-schooling the older children and caring for the younger. It hasn't been easy.

    "Connecticut was really hard," she says. In Connecticut, they lived on a street with two sets of lesbian parents. One summer a mutual acquaintance threw a neighborhood party. Brian wasn't invited at all, and Sue's invitation came with a note: "We know what Brian does. If your views are not the same, you can come to the party." Sue stayed home.

  • 76. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Thank you – both of you. It seems that it's almost as hard to get an accurate mailing address for them as it is to get BSB to answer a question.

  • 77. Alan E.  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I'm from Virginia. I had to move away.

  • 78. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:17 am

    What is the Washington Post doing printing such a puff piece about BS Brown???

  • 79. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

    More of the same attitude they display about other things, I would say. They hide away, refuse to provide donor info when the IRS demands it, make up nonsense about fearing retribution, won't let cameras in….

  • 80. AndrewPDX  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Thanks for trolling through OneNewSnowJob's site for us; I don't have the stomach for it myself.

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 81. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:30 am

    On what grounds? I don't know what I'm going tot do without your tweets! When things got a bit too intense around here, I turn to your twitter account to get a good chuckle.

  • 82. Ray in MA  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Like the Soup Nazi… "No soup for you!" :(

  • 83. Anna Bryan  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I saw my purpose in life to follow every last one of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Followers". Evidently, that is something that Twitter frowns upon.

    I have pleaded for forgiveness to twitter, but I'm not sure how long it will take for twitter to respond and get me back up and running.

  • 84. Chris  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

    “Connecticut was really hard.” So someone didn't want her hate-mongering husband at a party….awwwwwwww.

    Perhaps she should imagine being LGBT in the Bible Belt.

  • 85. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Best of luck to both of us James :)

    LOL to Kathleen affirming description of the law!

  • 86. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Makes me think of BSB's comment that treating gays and lesbians differently is not discrimination.

    Wha?

    BSB thinks we want to change the definition of the word "marriage" and he's totally against that because it's a WORD! And you can't change the definition of WORDS!

    But he won''t adhere to his own rules and makes up definitions for words like "discrimination"?

    Oxford English Dictionary. Discrimination: The action of discriminating; the perceiving, noting, or making a distinction or difference between things; a distinction (made with the mind, or in action)..

    Hmm… How is excluding gays and lesbians from marrying the partner of their choice not making a distinction between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples?

  • 87. Robert  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:55 am

    This would be AWESOME. My partner has said many times: "While this is great news for us it would be better if it was federal".

  • 88. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Even marriage supporters of one man, one woman are trying to distance themselves from NOM's hate.

    Gazelka denounces ‘mean-spirited’ mailing by anti-gay-marriage group

    Gazelka, as a legislator, was chief author of a constitutional amendment proposal to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Mailings sent by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) compare Gazelka and Koering. Although Gazelka said the marriage issue is a “cause near and dear to my heart,” he said he doesn’t approve of NOM’s “mean-spirited” mailings.

    Read more here: http://politicsinminnesota.com/blog/2010/08/gazel

  • 89. Bolt  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Again, awesome post. This trial tracker is on the cutting edge of current events!

  • 90. Jim  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:04 am

    You can see NOM's tax return here (including Brown's payday) http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder

    Most recent tax return was 2008. NOM seems to be a bit casual in getting around to filing its tax returns with the IRS.

  • 91. Anonygrl  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I LOVE it. "You are on my side. Please, don't be."

  • 92. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Very interesting. Finally, NOM's brand of hate is proving to be a liability in some corners. Anyone have a link to the mailing Gazelka denounces?

  • 93. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Jim, if they filed extensions, 2009 may not be due yet.

  • 94. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Well, if we can't follow Anna on Twitter, we can at least follow ProtectMawwiage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/protectmawwiage

  • 95. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Straight Grandmother, I hear you, and I too was of the understanding of the great possibility of taking this to the supremes,
    I don't think we were led on, I just think I wasn't capable of fully understanding all the legal twists and turns in the case, which lawyers could, but maybe failed to mention. or rather metniioned in a way I didn't hear.
    It was like when Judge Walker made his ruling it was on the grounds that his ruling wouldn't be final cause it would be going to the next circut, no question, so I thought.

    Then the dog and pony show following NOM, well I guess it's all good if California wins, but then hopefully California would put as much effort into following the next case until all the states are equal, and equality comes to your children also.

  • 96. Arturo Durazo  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:24 am

    My fiancé, Marcos, and I are at the edge of our seats! Coincidently for 12 months he and I have been planning a destination wedding in Monterey. The tie the knot day is this coming Sarurday. It would be an awesome opportunity to have the icing on the cake as benefits that come from being married legally. Of course, he and I do not require the state to validate our love; however, it will be healing not to be treated as second class citizens.

  • 97. Bernard  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Leaving these decisions to the states is really NOT sufficient. PARTNER IMMIGRATION IS A FEDERAL ISSUE!!! For complete MARRIAGE EQUALITY to apply would require the ability to seek immigration status for a foreign/alien same-sex partner!!

    any thoughts??

  • 98. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I'm working my way through Imperial County's motion to intervene (I must be some sort of glutton for punishment).

    They missed the deadline for motions to intervene.

    They didn't want to participate in the trial, just the appeal.

    One of their arguments seems to be that the voters of their county voted for Prop 8 70% to 30%.

    Another is that failure to appeal would result in "legal uncertainty and confusion". (Uh, no. It would result in a final decision.)

    (Or — am I wrong? Does the decision only apply in the Northern District? Can that be??)

  • 99. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

    And in Walker's ruling, he says that Imperial County is a mere subdivision of the state, has to do what the state decides as far as marriage, has no significant protectible interest, and if they suffer from uncertainty and confusion about their duties under state law, they can seek declaratory relief.

    PWNed.

  • 100. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Ann, thank you so much for taking on this task and reporting back. I really, really appreciate it.

  • 101. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Love ya, too, Kathleen.

  • 102. Jeff  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

    "PWNed." Exactly! I LOVE how Judge Walker gives Imperial County the point-by-point legal smackdown.

  • 103. Jeff  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Good luck to you guys… fall is a great time to get married in California! 😉 My partner and I had a commitment ceremony last September and the weather was gorgeous here in San Francisco. If the Prop 8 stay is lifted, we hope to get married as well!

  • 104. Ray in MA  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Good point! I agree. Feel free to chirp in anytime!

  • 105. Ray in MA  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

    We're VERY fortunate to have some dedicated legal clarifiers here (along with the P8TT guyz) !!!

    You know who your are. THANK YOU!!!

  • 106. New  |  August 9, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Hopefully the Massachusettes DOMA case will help to strike down Section 3 of DOMA on a federal level.

  • 107. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I just wanted to say this now, before we get an answer about the stay. No matter how this plays out – stay, no stay, 9th Circuit, SCOTUS, whatever – I want to go on the record as saying that I'm in this for the long haul. I'm not going to stop donating money or time or energy until ALL of us have marriage equality, even if this particular trial only affects California.

    Right after Prop 8 passed, I was more than just depressed. I was angry. And not at the people who voted yes. I was angry at what I perceived to be a lot of LGBT Californians who didn't do enough to stop Prop 8. I felt like I had been played for a fool for doing all that work when so many people were lazy and self-centered and indifferent about the issue. I thought I would never get involved in something like this again.

    But I have to say, after finding this community here at P8TT, and all these great people fighting for our rights – when so many of you don't even live in California – I feel completely different. And whether we get equal marriage rights here in California tomorrow, or the next day, or in 2012, I'm going to keep fighting for all of us. It's the least I could do after everything you guys are doing.

  • 108. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Me too. This is about confronting injustice and inequality, wherever it is.

  • 109. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Me, three.

  • 110. fiona64  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Also sending FB request. :-)

  • 111. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Now I think AJR29 would lead one to believe that taking on DOMA in Cali is ripe for the making..

    Calif. seeks IRS tax equity for same-sex spouses

    The California Legislature has passed a resolution asking that same-sex spouses and domestic partners be taxed the same as heterosexual married couples.

    The resolution, AJR29, asks the Internal Revenue Service to issue a ruling requiring individuals in a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership to each report half of their community income on federal tax returns.

    Currently, California law requires same-sex couples and domestic partners to do so, but the IRS does not.

    The Senate-endorsed resolution passed the Assembly on a 52-9 vote Monday.

    Read more: http://www.pe.com/ap_news/California/CA_XGR_Gay_M

  • 112. Keith  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I hope he lifts his stay but knowing the calamity that will occur if his decision is reversed could be enough for him to stay his decision until the appeals court rules. His ruling was very strong and he was adamant that prop 8 was unconstitutional so he may lift the stay knowing that the appellate court will not overturn it. I just wish that he makes his decision soon. The waiting is cruel and unusual punishment lol.

  • 113. Alyson  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    OK – I need clarification on something. If someone does have standing and it does get appealed – how does a decision from the 9th circuit open up marriage equalilty for other states? Might they just rule that CA cant do what it did? Or would they have to say that marriage cannot be withheld from same sex couples in anyway as it violated the constitution – so other states in the circuit have to start marrying people regardless of their own laws or amendments or however they got where they are?

    Kathleen? Anyone?

    Thx,
    Alyson

  • 114. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Perhaps this is a nefarious plot by the Prop 8 folks – put up such a bad defense that they forfeit their standing, so the decision can never have legal weight outside of California. Meanwhile, send lots of money!

  • 115. Keith  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    If the case doesn't make it to appeal and ends with the legalization of gay marriage in California, gay citizens in every state should sue for marriage equality. No state should have discrimination written into their constitution. This country is about equality, not religious persecution.

  • 116. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    The answer is the same one that so many legal questions have — it depends.

    It depends on how the 9th Circuit writes their opinion. It might just mean marriage equality for CA. It might mean it for all of the states covered by the 9th Circuit.

    And let's not lose sight of the fact that it might mean that we lose. I hate to put a damper on the celebration, but we certainly could lose this thing at the 9th Circuit or the SCOTUS.

  • 117. Trish  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    There are a lot of states covered by the 9th Circuit.

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are all within the 9th Circuit, as are Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

    If we appeal to the 9th Circuit, the 9th Circuit ruling will be applied in each of those states (unless/until USSC takes up the case and issues a decision). That means if we win on equal protection, due process, and suspect classification, that becomes the standard for all district courts in each of the above states.

    However, there is a potentially narrow ruling that only finds unlawful discrimination under the unique circumstances in California, where the State has determined that a fundamental right exists under its constitution and some gay couples' marriages are recognized and that right is then taken away. Such a ruling would not have much, if any, effect on the states outside of California.

  • 118. Bolt  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I understand your apprehension; however, we should blaze forward as far as we can go. I live in San Francisco, and have as much to lose as you. Our fear hasn't gotten us anywhere, and if this case can help more states through this ruling, they deserve it's justice!

  • 119. Bolt  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Appeal, or no appeal, we're going to win, and the NOMarriage Klan can't do anything about it!

  • 120. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    And for clarity, even a broad win at the 9th Circuit doesn't mean that suddenly every state in its jurisdiction must start issuing marriage licenses. It means that if someone in one of those states challenges a law in federal court in their district, this case would be binding precedent on that district court.

  • 121. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I feel like we are winning every day. I live in Arizona where there is the Arizona Constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Prop 102 passed with a 56% vote in 2008. I remember reading statistics of the votes that the younger voters were in favor of marriage equality, the middle agers were mostly in favor of marriage equality, the elderly clearly opposed marriage equality…and since we technically are a retirement state those elderly folks outweighed us youngsters.

    Through the Prop 8 trial and even when Judge Walker's decision came through, I noticed our newspaper blogger's had an increase in favor of same sex marriage (the increase even between february and this month was measurable.)

    In 2008 I knew that one day Arizonans would vote in favor of Marriage Equality after reading the stats of the younger voters approval. I even think now we might have the outweighing votes to approve it.

    So, I agree, we are going to win…all of us in our great country.

  • 122. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    lol Love this…If you could have an 80s Rock Star officiate your wedding…who would it be?

    For me, I'd have to say Eddie Van Halen…

    From 1980s Rock Star to Gay Wedding Minister

    If you had to pick a favorite 1980s musician to perform your same-sex wedding, who would it be? For me, it's a no-brainer. Bonnie Tyler. That hair … that make-up. That marching down the aisle while she belts out Holding Out For a Hero. (Not that I've spent a substantial amount of time picturing the perfect 1980s wedding…)

    But a close second would have to be Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's. And heck, she's offering to marry gay folks. Wiedlin, in the time since The Vacation Song and Our Lips Are Sealed (not to mention an acting career that took her from television show Frasier to critically-acclaimed movie Firecracker), has become an ordained minister, otherwise known as Sister Go-Go, marrying straight and gay couples throughout the country. And Sister Go-Go is pleased as punch to perform your same-sex nuptials. Especially in the wake of last week's federal court ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

    Read More: http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/from_1980s_

  • 123. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Does is have to be big-hair rock star or can it just be someone who was active in those years?

    If the latter either Laurie Anderson or David Byrne

  • 124. Ken  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I couldn't agree more, but those of us with foreign partners are a minority within a minority and it may not happen any time soon. I spend thousands of dollars a year on airline tickets to stay with my partner in Thailand and right now he is here with me in CA on an educational visa–another huge expense–for taking a course he doesn't really even need, but at least we are together. We want to build a life together here and after five years I am exhausted and almost broke with the travel and emotional energy.

  • 125. Ronnie  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Uh….Cindy Lauper…..HELLOOOOOOOOO!!!!…& she would need to sing the song from The Goonies….lol….<3…Rommie

  • 126. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Peter Gabriel. He even looks the part these days : )

  • 127. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I have changed my mind…Cindy Lauper would be it for me too…and her sister is 'family'.

    Now I just have to find a 'wife' to marry lol

  • 128. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    It was the surprise filing of Gov. Schwartznegger and Atty. General Brown last Friday that they opposed a stay and wanted to resume issuing licenses immediately that caused this case to take an unexpected new turn. I don't think you can attribute anything to the motives of the attorneys on either side as if they somehow planned this.

    As for whether this will affect court proceedings in other states, of course it will. Not directly, in the sense of binding precedent, but nothing prevents a case from being brought in (for example) Oregon and citing the evidence and reasoning introduced in Perry. Whether another judge in the Ninth Circuit will find this ruling persuasive remains to be seen. Depends on the judge, I'd water…

  • 129. Ronnie  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    hahaha…I typed Rommie not Ronnie…typo courtesy of multiple screens…thank you…thank you…(bows)….<3…Ronnie

  • 130. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    And in light of the standing issue, I think it's interesting to go back to the question that Walker asked the attorney from the City of San Francisco as to whether SF would have standing to appeal if the ruling went against the plaintiffs. The attorney said she didn't think that was likely, since the plantiffs had already indicated that they planned to appeal in any case, but Walker pressed the point and the City of SF said that they did have standing and would appeal if the plaintiffs lost.

    By contrast, Imperial County tried to intervene for the purpose of appeal on the side of the Prop 8 defenders and was denied. Walker said that they had no right to intervene in any case, since Imperial County could not show harm and lacked the authority to decide on behalf of the entire state what was in the interests of California.

    Interesting…and Walker asked the representative of the Governor several times what his view of the litigation was. All these things taken together demonstrate that Judge Walker was several steps ahead of the attorneys on this matter, and may have anticipated that this scenario could come to pass.

  • 131. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    As a resident of another state in the Ninth Circuit (Oregon) I certainly would like to see this opinion have a chance to work its influence. I think we would all be better off in the long run if this verdict is not appealed and marriages in California resume. That will be a HUGE political victory and shot in the arm for marriage equality, and will make it easier for us in other states to a) challenge our own DOMA laws in court, citing this evidence and legal reasoning as an example; and b) repeal our own DOMA laws at the ballot box, citing the example of the state next door that has not fallen down in ruin from the spectre of same-sex marriage.

  • 132. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Agreed. We will win by amassing a whole body of legal reasoning, together with demographic shifts in favor of marriage equality.

  • 133. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I suspected this would start happening, and Maggie Gallagher is helping. All the NOM pundits are so snarky and nasty–especially her–that they really don't come off as good spokespeople for their product. I think they turn people off, and perhaps that will cause a schism in their movement. LDS has a policy of being sunny and loving and embracing about their homophobia, and that makes them much more persuasive with the mainstream…therefore, they might start putting their anti-gay funds elsewhere if NOM can't be more approachable. Interesting to watch NOM hamstring itself in this way (when I don't want to just puke, that is.)

  • 134. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    The reason the law is being tied into knots is that they're trying to find some coherent legal reasoning that would permit the state to act as the agent of discrimination – to keep its thumb on the scales of justice, as it were. All of these contortions would disappear if marriage equality were supported – as one day it will.

    Discrimination is complicated and expensive.

  • 135. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Yeah, I was surprised that Imperial tried this–I would have thought they'd have to get some sort of approval from the state to apply to be intervenors. Usually the Counties have to act under the State's direction concerning state marriage law and procedure–which I think is part of why San Francisco's independent marriage equality declaration didn't hold water in court.

  • 136. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    The "somebody" in question would probably be Olsen and Boies, with funding from AFER.

  • 137. Greg in OZ  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Hear, hear Ray!!!

    Not just Kathryn and Ann S (although, every time you two post – it's an eye opener!), but there is a raft of you legal eagles out there that help the rest of us to make sense of all of this.

    Who knew that being educated in the law could also be so much fun at the same time! (Well, I'm at least having fun watching all the fundies heads exploding over the ruling)

    Just a quick note – someone mentioned above that even though this trial may only apply to Cal. state, it WILL have an impact in other areas – whether it is 'law' there or not. I couldn't agree more.

    Already in Oz, there has been a fair bit of commentary on the ruling.

    I've been intrigued by that, as it's the equivelant of your news reporting on local Oz news, really. Out of the norm for us here.

    But the fact that it IS being reported well over here is an indication of the impact it can have. Just for eg – I saw no mention of Argentina or the other Latin american countries recent SSM legalisation on the news – yet a State of the USA – not the country, but an individual state – makes the news hands down.

    It's often said that Australia sometimes feels like the 51st state of the USA (something us Aussies dont really like to hear – we like to 'pretend' that we're independant – but just dont tel that to the Queen!).

    It's because of the influence that decisions in your country like this, that then influence our thinking that can lead to this opinion.

    I think I mentioned a while ago here, that Aussies like to think that they have taken the best of the US and Europe and intergrated those ideals into our culture down here. Largely, I think that's true, but we still have a ways to go!

    So, what I'm trying to say really is to the guys that dont live in California, hang in there – this decision WILL have an impact and I predict, bigger and quicker than it looks right now.

    Lots o' love

    Greg in Oz

  • 138. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Elizabeth, their reasoning seemed to come down to, "we disagree with the state, they won't defend Prop 8, our county was for it 70%, waah, waah, waah."

    But I'm paraphrasing a bit.

    They were sort of ignoring the fact that their duties with respect to marriage are entirely ministerial and subject to whatever the state decides.

    Awww, Imperial County. Too bad, so sad.

  • 139. Brent Zenobia  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    If Perry is not appealed and marriage equality resumes in California, I have little doubt that the next step would be for AFER to retain Olsen and Boies to mount a challenge to the federal DOMA law. After all, same-sex couples may be able to marry in California, but they are still not fully equal until they are recognized as married by the federal government, and their marriages are granted full faith and credit just like opposite-sex couples are.

  • 140. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    @Straight Ally #3008 BINGO and especially send the money fast cause you don't want to be like California

    Wouldn't it be nice if the plaintiffs, in this case, asked for an appeal for the very reason that they will not experience equality until everyone does?? wonder if that's an option, in some way.

  • 141. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    @Ann:exactly, and ironically, it's the same reason SF couldn't independently declare marriage equality–the Counties are only supposed to act at the direction of the State. Imperial trying to intervene is essentially the State suing itself….maybe I'm more surprised it wasn't Kern, lol.

  • 142. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    @Greg: the way I see it, the only silver lining to Prop8's passage was exactly what you're saying–suddenly, marriage equality went from being a not well-known and relatively undiscussed issue to something that was on the front pages of every newspaper on every breakfast table in the country. It's funny, because MA has had equality for years, but Prop8 seemed to vault same-sex marriage into the nation's consciousness in a way that MA never did. It's like what happened when Anita Hill spoke out about Clarence Thomas–all of a sudden, the concept of "sexual harassment" was HUGE and our country changed as a result of that (try watching "Mad Men" if you don't remember what it was like before.)

    Now marriage equality is a high-profile struggle–and it took Prop8 to make it so. This case continues to be influential everywhere–now, the world's eyes are watching,not just the U.S.–so the more we fight for equality and marry and show the world that equality works, the sooner others will be able to do the same. I'm in it for the long haul! and I'm grateful for P8TT. Onward and upward!

  • 143. Bob  |  August 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    @Elizabeth Oakes, sounding very American in that comment, the sooner we show the world that equality works, sorry but you have already failed in that, that's the reason so many are watching, in disbelief at how far behind you really are in terms of equality, how many countries are ahead of you on that,

    The thing you can be proud of is taking the issues up in a court case, and discussion in a way no one has before, that perhpas is an education for folks, but the U.S. is not leadking the world in terms of SSM equality, the reason all eyes are glued is to see if you can break free of Theocracy, and our disbelief that the most powerful country has to struggle with that issue,

  • 144. Dpeck  |  August 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Yup, with friends like NOM, …..

  • 145. Sagesse  |  August 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Clearly I picked the wrong day to be away from the computer. Subscribing.

  • 146. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Missed you. Glad to see you're back.

  • 147. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Still trying to catch up. Amazing what an entire day away from the laptop can do to an inbox.

  • 148. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    LOL, another legal friend of mine read the order denying Imperial County's motion to intervene and translated it as follows: “your job in registering marriage licenses doesn’t require independent thought; if it’s too tough for you, perhaps you’re in the wrong job.”

  • 149. Kathleen  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    LOL! Do you think maybe judges write opinions like that as a first draft — just for fun?

    (although I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see a sentence like that nestled into one of Alex Kozinski's decision)

  • 150. Ann S.  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    It's nice to think they do, isn't it?

  • 151. Dave  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Lesbians Love Boies,

    The problem with that is that it doesn't make same sex couples tax the same as opposite sex couples. It infacts makes them taxed significanty less, so their could be a problem with that.

  • 152. Straight Grandmother  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Good analysis Brent, very good.

  • 153. Straight Grandmother  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    @AndrewPDX, very good use of the term
    Orientation Discrimination.
    Judge Walker, in 138 pages, used either Discriminate or Discrimination 59 times, let's call it what it is, what the Judge says it is, it is plain old Discrimination.
    Merci!

  • 154. Straight Grandmother  |  August 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Yes, Virginia my daughter state of residence, deep sigh….

  • 155. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 10, 2010 at 2:27 am

    And, here is Cindy Lauper's comments on Prop 8 ruling during a concert…

    Lauper let the crowd take the chorus in a massive sing-along to “Time After Time,” before a bluesy take on “She Bop” followed. Then a sweet moment as Lauper went back to the new album with a cut called “Mother Earth” and we spot two men slow dance with each other without a care in the world.

    It was nearing 11PM and time to shut it down though, and so began “True Colors.” A couple bars in, Lauper stopped. Looking out into the crowd, she passionately praised the recent court ruling that overturned Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban. And the crowd ate it up.

    “What if straight people were told they couldn’t marry,” Lauper said.
    http://www.fenuxe.com/2010/08/10/cyndi-lauper-tak

  • 156. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 10, 2010 at 2:53 am

    That did make me laugh, though I will speak up in defense of my comrades-in-paperwork at the L.A. County Clerk's office and our rad boss Dean Logan, who has already said in a press release that he's ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples the second the stay is lifted. Dean takes his lack of independent thought very seriously, lol.

    That being said, it does rankle me that some of these conservative counties seem to breed bureaucratic martinets who think they are entitled to an opinion on state law or federal court rulings. Sigh. I feel bad for the gay couples in CA's Heartland, but we'll take care of 'em if they want to schlep to L.A. and join the party. :)

  • 157. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:08 am

    @Bob: precisely, you said it better than I could. Prop8 is the poster child for battling theocracy in law, and that's why I believe CA might present a tipping point, definitely for the USA but perhaps for those in other countries as well. If nothing else, it illustrates that religious sensibilities in law are insidious and they must be directly confronted by any means possible. I'm sorry if you're offended by my sounding like an American, but please understand that I'm proud and relieved that, after many years of having our country in the grips of "faith-based" politicians who were handing giveaways both financially and politically to others of their ilk, people who believe in civil rule are fighting back hard.

    To your point, America does lots of stupid things that (rightfully) earn the contempt of other countries and harm us (e.g. our lack of meaningful financial regulation, for which we are suffering now) but I don't believe fighting for equality isn't one of them. Seems to me CA's struggle has inspired activists elsewhere to be brave and stand up for change….but maybe I'm overestimating the impact. I don't think I said the USA is leading the world in marriage equality, but I do believe Prop8 magnified the issue immensely and continues to inspire worldwide.

  • 158. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:09 am

    whoops, I mean "I don't believe fighting for equality IS one of them." Don't use no double negatives usually, sorry. :)

  • 159. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:14 am

    @Elizabeth, I know LA County rocks, because they wouldn't defend Prop 8 either, won't appeal, and opposed the motion for stay.

    See, legal paperwork can be fun!

    The fact that they included in their motion that their voters were overwhelmingly for Prop 8 tells us all we need to know about their true motivation.

  • 160. Ann S.  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:14 am

    And by "they" in my post (hopefully directly above) I meant Imperial County included their vote count. As though that were relevant, ha.

  • 161. Kathleen  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Elizabeth, where exactly is the office that I would show up to to cheer the newly married couples if the stay is lifted? Is it the same county office in Norwalk where the property records are kept?

  • 162. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Yes, it's the big office down in Norwalk at 12400 Imperial Hwy, but the big rockin' party's going to be happening in West Hollywood for sure. Our office isn't very glam or festive–pretty industrial, in fact–but the press usually comes by to get commentary from County officials.

    In 2008 the turnout for same-sex marriages was lower than anticipated there, maybe because it's in a much less "out" part of town, but that's why I'll pitch in down there if/when the stay is lifted–same-sex couples who end up there often seem to feel less supported, so I like to be there to let them know they ARE supported, and welcome.

    As a side note, in 2008 a few of other regular volunteers quit because they were religious (they would walk around with bibles all the time) and Dean Logan et al made very clear in our office that EVERYBODY was to receive the same courtesy and nondiscriminatory services no matter who they were. The good news is, about ten times as many new people stepped up and volunteered to conduct same-sex weddings that first couple weeks; there were so many newbies that there weren't enough couples to keep us all busy, so I went home early so they could experience the fun and joy of it all.

    In any case, I think they'll draw upon those already-trained volunteers first if the stay should be lifted, but feel free to let them know you'd like to help out if the need arises. If you schlep down there, be sure to introduce yourselves! Would love to meet you.

  • 163. Bob  |  August 10, 2010 at 5:13 am

    @Elizabeth Oakes

    "PROP8 IS THE POSTER CHILD FOR BATTLING THEOCRACY IN LAW"

    that is the message, the point, it bears repeating, over and over, that is what the world is watching?
    Will the most powerful countlry in the world bow down to religion. This is the real issue behind all the smoke and miirrors, of NOM's message, SSM is a pawn in this game.

    NOM=Theocracy SSM=Democracy, all the world;s a stage, The issue has been presented in the courts, for all to read.

    NOM does not seek any benefit from the courts, that's just part of their smoke and mirrors, to distract us, although they don't say the words themselves, they have very cleverly chosen speakers, who say the words. Ms King for example has spoken clearly to the religious right, Maggie implied as much in her behavior in the courtroom, removing her shoes, sent a message to the relidious right, the court is not their God's house, and demands no respect. Their lawyer said we don't need evidence, because to do so would be to direspect their God, and Theocracy which they are promoting. Their whole stance has been to thumb their noses at the courts.

    Those middle of the road people we've been talking about will become involved if we take away the smoke and mirrors, the battle is for Democracy itself, and the result of that will benefit everyone including SSM.

    If we're trying to find the right words to couch our struggle, in a more embracing way, make it the final battle for DEMOCRACY

    After all that is what the U.S. is trying to sell to the world, when in fact they don't really possess it themselves.

    What I really want to know from the president of the U.S. is he really just pulling the wool over our eyes. It's time after all for the big REVEAL. who are you really.

  • 164. Top Posts — WordPre&hellip  |  August 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

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  • 165. BREAKING: JUDGE WALKER TO&hellip  |  August 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

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  • 166. Tom Mullen  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Very insightful Brent, and a genuine concern as we all want the case decided on the merits I presume

  • 167. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 13, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Judge Walker has over the years built a reputation for being very astute and not missing anything. And from what I saw on Rick Sanchez yesterday, I think he may be a supporter of Marriage Equality. He did a rather good rip and tear on the equality opponent yesterday. Rick remained calm while the anti got very upset and flustered, complete to sputtering.

  • 168. Kathleen  |  August 13, 2010 at 5:33 am

    In fairness to the attorneys, I don't know that Walker was several steps ahead of them. He just brought up the issue, where the attorneys had chosen to not mention it yet. Just because attys didn't bring it up in court filings or discuss it in interviews, doesn't mean they weren't aware of it. Chances are they (both sides) have been aware of this possibility for a while, likely from the beginning.

  • 169. Daily Keywords(2010-08-12&hellip  |  December 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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