September 26, 2010
(Here is Karen’s take on the animus, er, amicus brief avalanche from the right-wing, cross-posted from LGBTPOV)
By Karen Ocamb
Oh, my. To bastardize Sally Fields’ famous Oscar-winning moment, “They hate us! They really hate us!”
Friday, as most of the LGBT Nation focused on Maj. Margaret Witt’s exhilarating victory in federal court that may dismantle Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Log Cabin Republican brief arguing that the unconstitutional DADT must be halted worldwide NOW – the vast right wing conspiracy against giving LGBT people equal rights filed amicus brief after amicus brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in the Prop 8 Perry v Schwarzenegger case. This avalanche of amicus briefs followed the Defendant-Interveners (lead by attorney Charles Cooper, pictured) filing on Sept. 17.
The Ted Olson and David Boies team have to file their plaintiffs’ answer brief in about three weeks on Oct. 18 and amicus briefs supporting them are due one week after that on Oct. 25, the week before the Nov. 2 election.
Prop 8 Trial Tracker and their amazing contributor Kathleen Perrin uploaded all of the amicus briefs to Scribd and the Prop 8 Trial Trackers page on Facebook, which Eden James cross-posted to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Eden encourages people to “crowdsource reading these briefs, for the benefit of all involved, following Alan E.’s lead on the FRC amicus brief…..Jeremy Hooper got started on this one: 13 states, including Indiana, Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming, filed a brief saying that Judge Walker “exceeded (his) judicial authority.””
I wonder if bloggers in those states might have some fun agitating around how their Attorney Generals are spending tax-payer money and time to write amicus briefs in a California marriage case. Are their states that flush with funds, their budgets balanced and crime and corruption so handled that their AGs can afford to be distracted to get involved in this long term federal case? And if they are on the right-side of history, why didn’t AGs from the rest of the 50 states file amicus briefs, as well? And BTW – isn’t Florida’s involvement a bit of a contradiction, given the recent ruling on gay adoption?
Michael-in-Norfolk has already started in on Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli. But Pennsylvania – really? Well, last month (Aug. 27) Sarah Palin drew a crowd of 1,100 who came “from far and wide” when she spoke at the Pennsylvania Family Institute’s banquet in Hersey, according to WGAL
I looked through some of the briefs – and to borrow from LCR attorney Earle Miller’s filing in the DADT trial, it looks like all these right wingers think the Prop 8 extravaganza in Walker’s San Francisco District Court was merely a mock trial. That’s basically the point Lurleen of Pam’s House Blend got to in her take down of the Family Policy Councils: “Just Ignore the US Constitution, Mkay?”
Let’s start with the American College of Pediatricians. Last April Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin exposed this fraudulent group as being incredibly NARTH-heavy board, including
“George Rekers – NARTH board member, Christian reconstructionist, and closely associated with Paul Cameron. Rekers once recommended banning Native Americans from being able to adopt.
You remember George Rekers, co-founder of the Family Research Council, from the “Rent Boy” scandal that forced him to step down from NARTH? Amanda Terkel at ThinkProgress has a good piece on the link between Rekers and the Prop 8 trial.
And JONAH’s Arthur Goldberg? Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out is all over him – he’s “a convicted Wall Street con artist who looted millions of dollars from poor communities.” But Wayne also interviewed two JONAH “clients” of who allege sexual misconduct by the so-called therapist.
The Western Center for Law & Policy filed an amicus brief on behalf of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Desert Streams Ministries (which I went to undercover for a Genre story wherein I tried to get changed. Boy, was that an experience!). In the introduction to the 37-page brief, the center lawyers wrote: “the sole issue addressed in this brief is whether same-sex attraction is a fixed and immutable characteristic.” Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin looks at the PFOX amicus brief.
Kincaid also looks into the High Impact Leadership Coalition, The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) and The Frederick Douglass Foundation amicus brief – headed by, respectively, Bishop Harry Jackson, Star Parker and JC Watts.
This brief is just choke full of weird irony. These are three African American evangelical Christian-based leaders whose brief was written by two attorneys from Utah and one from The Catholic University of America. In Oct. 2008, Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, brought a petition with thousands of signatures to the Mormon Church in Los Angeles to complain about the amount of money the Mormon Church was contributing to the Yes on 8 effort. Lee also noted that the Mormon Church formerly followed principles that said Blacks were not allowed “into Mormon heaven.”
Also interesting – both High Impact’s Bishop Harry Jackson and CURE’s Star Parker got their initial start with backing from the rabidly antigay Traditional Values Coalition head Rev. Lou Sheldon, though TVC did not file an amicus brief. And while Parker may have changed since I first met her in the early 1990s when she joined Sheldon in his crusade against gays and people with HIV/AIDS, I can’t imagine that the traditional values gal would have gone feminist. And yet she is identified in the brief as “Ms. Star Parker.” Since “Ms” is such an easy thing to delete, I wonder if she even read the brief.
On behalf of the Black Christians, the Utah-based and Catholic University lawyers wrote that “their interest in this case arises out of a need to voice the view that the civil rights of parties to same-sex relationships are not advanced by reliance on legal principles that otherwise have served to further the civil rights of African-Americans.”
“In their conclusion, they claim that using Loving v. Virginia as support for the fundamental right to marry, is just another example of “an illegitimate attempt to appropriate a valuable cultural icon for political purposes.” They don’t note the irony.”
And then there’s the just plain sad aspect of these briefs. Look at Margie Reilly, who filed as an individual. Her Sacramento-based attorney James Joseph Lynch Jr., starts out with a bit of Margie’s biography. It’s turns out Margie retired early from being a service representative with the Social Security Administration. She’s now a substitute schoolteacher with San Juan Unified School District and Sacramento City School District where she “takes K-12 assignments,” though she “specializes” in preschool. The other bit of information that apparently gives her credibility as an expert to speak on Prop 8 is that she attended an 8-week course given by the Diocese of Sacramento on “Theology of the Body.”
After the significance of that is explained, on page 6 of his 16-page brief filed on Margie’s behalf is this gem:
“While she has compassion for the struggles of her Non-Breeder brothers and sisters in society, she nonetheless believes that it is not in the best interest of society to compromise the essential goodness of the marital relationship to accommodate their unhappiness as it would destroy the deepest substratum of the social structure to assure that there will be future generations to survive the present generation.”
Where is Dr. Strangelove and those “precious bodily fluids” when you need them?
The list of amicus briefs is in the extended entry. It’s a lot of the old Yes on Prop 8 gang – with, presumably, the same funding streams. Please note that Bill May of the Catholics for the Common Good asked for an extension.
American Civil Rights Union
American College of Pediatricians
Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
Concerned Women of America
Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund.
High Impact Leadership Coalition, The Center for Urban Renewal and Education and The Frederick Douglass Foundation
Liberty Counsel JONAH Inc. Campaign for Children and Families
PAUL McHUGH, M.D., JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR OF PYSCHIATRY
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH & THERAPY FOUNDATION FOR HOMOSEXUALITY (NARTH)
National Legal Foundation
National Organization for Marriage, et al..
Pacific Justice Institute
Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson
STATES OF INDIANA, VIRGINIA et al..
The American Center for Law and Justice
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
The Ethics and Public Policy Center
The Hausvater Project
The Western Center for Law & Policy on Behalf of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Desert Streams Ministries
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops et al.
That’s on top of amicus briefs filed on Sept. 23:
Family Research Council
Liberty Institute, Association of Maryland Families, California Family Council, Center for Arizona Policy, Citizens for Community Values, Cornerstone Action, Cornerstone Family Council, Delaware Family Policy Council, Family Action Council of Tennessee, The Family Foundation, The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, Family Policy Institute of Washington, Florida Family Policy Council, Georgia Family Council, Illinois Family Institute, Independence Law Center, Iowa Family Policy Center, Louisiana Family Forum Action, Massachusetts Family Institute, Michigan Family Forum, Minnesota Family Council, Missouri Family Policy Council, Montana Family Foundation, New Jersey Family First, New Jersey Family Policy Council, North Carolina Family Policy Council, Oklahoma Family Policy Council, Oregon Family Council, Palmetto Family Council, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Wisconsin Family Action and Wywatch Family Action.  (GLS)
And on Sept. 22:
CORRECTED: County of Imperial, The Board of Supervisors of the County of Imperial and Isabel Vargas (NOTE: THIS IS ACTUALLY THEIR OPENING BRIEF IN THEIR RESPONSE TO WALKER’S RULING, NOT AN AMICUS BRIEF, SUBMITTED SEPT 17 BUT NOT FILED BY THE COURT UNTIL SEPT. 22. HAT TIP TO KATHLEEN)