Filed under: Weekly Summary
By Matt Baume
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye announced last week that the court could decide as soon as next week whether it’s going to get involved with the case against Prop 8. The court’s a real wild card here — nobody’s sure what they’re going to do. That’s why Ted Olson asked them not to get involved, leaving the case instead of the hands of the far more gay-friendly Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last week’s Comment Bait asked whether you thought the State Supreme Court should get involved in the matter, and lots of you weighed in. Youtube user AlexAndAdjectives commented yes, they should, writing, “Yes it would take longer, but the issue needs to be cleared up legally.”
Our question this week: Aside from California, what state do you think will make the most strides towards marriage equality this year? There’ve been promising developments all around the country, just in the last week.
In Illinois, governor Pat Quinn signed a civil unions bill into law, making that state the sixth to recognize civil unions. And in Hawaii, a civil unions bill will get a House hearing this Tuesday. It’s expected to pass later this year.
In Iowa, Democrats have so far been able to keep Republican attacks on marriage at bay, with a very slim majority promising to block a vote on marriage equality.
The Maryland Senate will hear testimony on a marriage bill this Tuesday, and advocates have been hard at work pressuring lawmakers to support the measure.
Now next Monday is Valentine’s Day, a perfect opportunity to head down to City Hall with the one you love … and get arrested.
Every year, civil rights groups protest marriage discrimination by visiting the marriage counter in their town and demanding a license. When they’re refused, they respond with demonstrations, rallies, and occasionally sit-ins that lead to arrests. You can find out what’s planned for your town by visiting RequestMarriage.com.
And that brings us to this week’s Action Item. We want your footage of the Valentine’s Day protests happening where you live.
Check RequestMarriage.com to find out if a protest has been scheduled for your town on Valentine’s Day, the 14th. If it is, go down to city hall and get video of couples demanding a marriage license. And if nothing’s scheduled yet for where you live, find a gay couple and drag ’em down there yourself.
We’re going to be releasing a special episode next week that compiles all of the footage of protests from around the country, and we want to include yours. If you’re going to be there taping on Valentine’s Day, let us know by emailing contact at stop 8 dot org. We’ll give you instructions for sending your footage to us to be included in our post-protest mega-montage.
And from all of us here at Stop Eight dot org, happy Valentine’s Day.
By Eden James
The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization that assembled the legal team challenging Prop 8 in court, has released a summary of the first week of the trial.
If you’ve only been able to catch bits and pieces of the proceedings, this should help you get caught up relatively quickly before the trial begins again on Tuesday morning.
Check it out:
PROP. 8 TRIAL FIRST WEEK ROUNDUP
Ten witnesses, including Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo and five eminent experts, clearly and convincingly demonstrated critical points in the federal trial on the unconstitutionality of Prop. 8 during its opening week:
• Marriage is vitally important in American society;
• By denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Proposition 8 causes grievous harm to the plaintiffs and other gay men and lesbians throughout California, and adds yet another chapter to the long history of discrimination they have suffered;
• Proposition 8 perpetrates irreparable, immeasurable and discriminatory harm for no good reason.
DISCRIMINATORY MOTIVATIONS OF PROP. 8
The court also viewed video footage from the deposition of William Tam. Tam is one of the five Official Proponents of Prop. 8, and as such was personally responsible for putting it on the ballot and for intervening in this case to take over the defense of the initiative.
The video footage of his deposition included statements from Tam such as this one, from a pro-Prop. 8 email he wrote: “They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children.” (more…)