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Equality arguments galore: More than 20 Prop 8 case amicus briefs filed to the 9th Circuit in support of Plaintiffs-Appellees

Briefs Prop 8 trial Statements

By Eden James

It’s a few minutes after midnight and the deadline set by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for amicus briefs — or “Friend of the Court” briefs — just passed.

Though a few briefs may still come in that haven’t been posted yet by the court (which we’ll be sure to post to this thread), so far 24 briefs have been submitted to the 9th Circuit in support of the American Foundation for Equal Rights legal team’s argument validating Judge Vaughn Walker’s historic decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. (Click here to read the opposition’s collection of amicus briefs.)

As I wrote last month, the byline on this amicus brief post should really say “Kathleen Perrin” — because, Kathleen is the one who spent who-knows-how-many-hours today uploading these amicus briefs to her Scribd account so that the P8TT community could digest them in the comments and here in this post.

If folks are up for it, the community could crowdsource reading these briefs, for the benefit of all involved — just as many of you did last month when the opposition filed their briefs.

OK, click into the extended entry to read the full list of more than 20 briefs and counting. Enjoy!

Tamara L. Cravit

Justice Donald B. King (Ret.) and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Constitutional Accountability Center

Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (“BALIF”), et al

Legislators from United States Jurisdictions that Have Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation, HRC, American Humanist Assoc. and Courage Campaign Institute

The American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Jon B. Eisenberg

California Professors of Family Law

Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic and Americans United for Separation of Church and State

National LGBT Bar Association

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

California Teachers Association

Anti-Defamation League

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc

Professors William N. Eskridge Jr., Rebecca L. Brown, Bruce A. Ackerman, Daniel A. Farber, Kenneth L. Karst, Andrew Koppelman

Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure Professors Erwin Chemerinsky, et al

American Anthropological Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, American Sociological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, California

The Southern Poverty Law Center

ACLU of Northern CA, GLAD, Lambda Legal, and NCLR

California Faith for Equality, Cal. Council of Churches, Gen’l Synod of the United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Churches, Episcopal Bishops of Cal. & Los Angeles, Prog. Jewish Alliance, Pac. Ass’n Reform Rabbis, Unitarian Universalist Ass’n & UULMCA

Asian American Justice Center, et al.

Equality California

Equality California (filed in support of Plaintiffs-Appellees the Imperial County Case)


  • 1. Kathleen  |  October 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Yay for Kenneth Karst! (Professor of Law Emeritus from UCLA). Wasn't my Con Law professor, but was teaching there when I attended.

  • 2. Ed Cortes  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:43 am


  • 3. Ed Cortes  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:44 am

    and checkin' teh box

  • 4. JonT  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:14 am

  • 5. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:23 am


  • 6. Carpool Cookie  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Your symbol use is funny, Ann!

    I want the one The-Artist-Formerly-Known-as-Prince used.

  • 7. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Thank you. That's merely a section symbol and only takes two keystrokes to create. I don't know the ASCII for the one The-Artist-Formerly-Known-as-Prince used, LOL!

  • 8. Jonathan H  |  October 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

    As usual, Kathleen is awesome! Subscribing now, reading later.
    I'm a little scared to start reading them since last time I lost a whole weekend. At least this should be less depressing.

  • 9. Michelle Evans  |  October 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    A pretty great list of people and organizations filing these briefs. Sure beats the pants off the briefs presented by the DIs and their ilk. I recall that right after all those were filed, they tried to use the fact that they had so many of them as "proof" that their side was right and we are all wrong. Looks like our side is coming close in number to what they had, so they can't pull that stupid argument anymore.

    Of course the whole idea behind these briefs versus the DIs briefs is that we actually use law and science and logic, instead of twisted ignorance.

  • 10. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Absolutely! I notice a lot more citations to law in the US and California.

  • 11. Wine Country Lurker  |  October 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    The "California Faith for Equality" one is the best read so far. I almost showered my keyboard with tea when I got to the part where they say "But the Becket Fund's brief does not trouble itself with making sense."

    Even better than the content of this brief itself, is the pages and pages at the end, listing allllllll of the religious organizations etc who are behind the brief — all claiming that Prop-8 infringes on their religious liberties. I'm in awe.

  • 12. Tomato  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:11 am

    I am still reading Faith for Equality's brief, but two things have jumped out at me:

    1. Episcopalians solemnize same-sex relationships but do not call them marriages, yet they still feel Prop 8 is unconstitutional and has no theological validity. And this is pointed out very early in the brief.

    2. Discussing the Beckett brief's adulation of the Pilgrims and Puritans and how Prop 8 is part of that original fight for religious freedom: Faith for Equality points out that the Pilgrim and Puritan churches are Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ – BOTH of whom solemnize same sex marriage and BOTH of whom participate in this brief.

    Oooh, ironic results of bigoted ignorance of history give me goosebumps!

  • 13. Rikaishi  |  October 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I havn't read the whole thing but the second: "Justice Donald B. King (Ret.) and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers" looks like a gem.

    These are people with intimate knowledge of the effects of discrimination on children and families, and the legal ramifications of these issues.

    The parts I read were using an extensive knowledge of case history to destroy key assumptions in the Prop 8 side's arguments and turn them into arguments FOR equality. Great allies to have on our side.

  • 14. Franck  |  October 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Agreed – my favorite part was a bit of snark, when the brief asks the Prop8 folk why they didn't also go after marriages between people without high education, if banning "non-optimal" households from forming was really their intent.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1222 days, as of today.

  • 15. Sagesse  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Can't wait to read these. Read the LCR filings first, as there will be a response from the 9th circuit (and oral arguments?) shortly.

  • 16. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Here's hoping that these add to the weight of the evidence and helps keep the judges from caving in to the pressure that is sure to be exerted by the radical far right wing.

  • 17. Sagesse  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Nice coverage of the LCR response in the Washington Post.

    "Representatives from gay rights groups are expected to meet Tuesday with White House officials to discuss ongoing repeal efforts, according to administration officials."

    'Don't ask, don't tell' appeals process continues

  • 18. StraightForEquality  |  October 25, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Wow! Isn't it great to have learned friends?!!

  • 19. Ronnie  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:06 am


  • 20. Manilow  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Boxers or Briefs?

    (I choose briefs!)

  • 21. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:11 am

    And Barbara Boxer.

    (Senate race in CA)

  • 22. Richard W. Fitch  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Will I live long enough to see a happy ending??

  • 23. Bill  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Kathleen, as usual, ROCKS!!!

  • 24. SB Mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Gosh this is overwhelming ~ and the sources, American Academy of Pediatrics and California Teacher's Assoc.
    As I once told my kids, "Sometimes when my heart gets so full, it over flows and comes out my eyes in the form of tears."

  • 25. Sagesse  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State gives the Cliff's Notes version of its brief

    Proposition 8 Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Has No Legitimate Basis, Americans United Tells Appeals Court

  • 26. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Way behind. So far, I really like the Howard University School of Law with Americans United for Separation of Church and State brief.

  • 27. nightshayde  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:35 am

    How many briefs were filed on the pro-discrimination side?

  • 28. qwerty  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Wow. Just wow. Thanks to Kathleen and the team for posting these.

    The one from the American Anthropological Association, etc. is particularly powerful discussing the stigma arguments presented at the trial.

    Can't wait for Dec. 6!

  • 29. LO  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Did anyone see a brief from either the Governator or Jerry Brown???

  • 30. Carpool Cookie  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Oh Jebus! Well…I'm lucky I have a high speed printer at work.

    I just finished reading the one from the plaintiffs…and I love that William Tam's lobbying literature about gay marriage threatening to cause other states to "fall into satan's hand" one by one is referenced. It just shows the dingbat lunacy of the other side. Also his quote about how homosexuals (supposedly) want to legalize prostitution and sex with children….(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)…is in there.

    What does this man THINK about at night???

    Jiminy Christmas!

  • 31. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Carpool Cookie–This is what is on William Tam's mind at night (my apologies to Gene Watson)

  • 32. Carpool Cookie  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Ooooooooooooooohh! The NAACP is in there!!! Only one of their chapters in CA (I think) went on record opposing Prop H8…and they got a lot of flack for it.


  • 33. RebeccaRGB  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Wasn't the P8TT community as a group going to submit an amicus brief? Whatever happened to that?

  • 34. Alan E  |  October 26, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I just skimmed through the brief by Jon B. Eisenberg. It's an interesting read, but it won't do much to help the case. The question at hand is Prop 8, not a facial challenge of the entire initiative process in CA. It would require more than just one prop. to file that kind of claim, and the 9th Circuit won't even come close to addressing the issue.

  • 35. mfbjr  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I think this has to be one of my favorite quotes (from the professors of Constitutional law, p. 24):

    "After twenty years of the responsible-procreation-within-marriage argument, no heterosexual has yet been identified who felt encouraged toward responsible family formation because lesbian couples were excluded from marriage while enjoying all the legal benefits of marriage under the cover of “domestic partnership.”

    I also love the list of policies the truly serious about the responsible procreation crap should try out instead of hassling teh gays.

  • 36. Aaron  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    it's hard to stop reading these…

  • 37. Perry Brief Bonanza &laqu&hellip  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    […] Yesterday, the opposition amicus briefs–that is, those arguing to uphold Walker’s decision–flooded in. has compiled 24 of the briefs here. […]

  • 38. Alan E.  |  October 29, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I finished reading the brief from "United States Jusidictions that have legalized same-sex marriage," and they eviscerate the NOM brief and NOM's "statistics." It backs up a lot of the testimony in the trial, and is put together very well. I would like to see what NOM would say in reaction to this particular brief since NOM is mentioned so many times!

  • 39. Daily Outline: November 4&hellip  |  November 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    […] The plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 case have filed their amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in the most recent appeal of California’s law banning gay marriage.  Over 20 briefs have been filed on behalf of political, psychological, legal, religious and equality organizations in support of overturning Prop. 8.  Represented organizations include the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the National LGBT Bar Association, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the NAACP and more.  You can read more at […]

  • 40. Ronald Gill  |  December 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I need to know exactly what says about this??

    -Sincere regards,

    reklamne table

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