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Prop 8 California

Watch: Official Trailer for THE CASE AGAINST 8 from HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White, THE CASE AGAINST 8 takes a riveting, inside look at the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Five years in the making, with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the powerhouse legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies, who previously faced off as opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore, along with the four plaintiffs in the suit, the film provides a definitive account of the battle that effectively ended marriage discrimination in California. Directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White. Winner of the 2014 SXSW Audience Award and Sundance Film Festival Best Directing Award.


Prop 8 Authors Trying To Halt California Same-sex Marriages

When Protect Marriage and other anti-gay people and organizations aren’t thinking about anal sex, they are scheming on how to fuck with our equality. Of course, the SCOTUS Prop 8 decision hasn’t changed things.

Protect Marriage today asked the California Supreme Court to stop county clerks from providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples because they argue that Prop 8 is still in place:

They contend that governor Jerry Brown lacked the authority to put an end to the enforcement of Prop 8, since a provision in the California constitution prohibits officials from refusing to enforce a law unless an appellate court has first determined that said law is unconstitutional. According to the LA Times, “there is no binding appellate ruling that says Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

The 50-page challenge is being filed by Protect Marriage, the same group that sponsored Prop 8, and is stated as “concerning the rule of law and limitations on public officials’ authority.” They claim that the California court has a duty to intervene. If not…

“the end result will be to allow one federal district judge — empowered by state officials who openly advocated for and ceded to Proposition 8’s demise — to nullify a constitutional initiative approved by more than seven million voters.”

I can’t speak for others, but I wish the fuck these assholes would just leave us alone. The amount of resources that both sides are spending to create/prevent a theocracy is staggering (and sad).

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrara, who has served as a co-counsel on the legal team fighting prop 8, released a statement that this move is obstructionist:

“This motion is a desperate obstruction tactic used in the vain hope of pursuing an unconstitutional agenda,” said Herrera. “The opponents of the freedom to marry have chosen to ignore the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and the well-settled California marriage case of Lockyer v. San Francisco, which they themselves celebrated at the time. Their motion has essentially no chance to succeed. The most basic concepts of American law tell us that a state court cannot and will not overrule the federal judiciary. The citizens of California are left wondering when these people will realize that, having lost the moral struggle years and years ago, they have now lost the legal struggle as well. Marriage equality is now the law in the State of California, and will remain so from this point onward. Together we will soon see the day when it is the law all across America.”

Well said, Dennis.

Also keep in mind that as of the ruling, Protect Marriage is now an obsolete organization in California. This desperation is not surprising given that donations are about to dry up.

Read more:

HBO Producing Behind-the-Scenes Documentary on Prop 8

HBO has announced that it is producing a documentary about California’s Proposition 8 which put the end to marriage equality in the state in 2008. Following SCOTUS’ decision that its supporters did not have legal standing, marriage equality has returned to my Golden State.

“The story of the battle to overturn Prop 8 is the story of a modern-day American revolution,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a statement. “HBO is proud to present what is intended to be the film of record on this landmark case.”

For the past five years, directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White have had exclusive access to film the long legal process from the perspectives of those involved, and will profile the separate journeys of four of the plaintiffs—couples Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami (pictured)—during the five years before the decision was made.

This should be an intriguing look at all the gears churning behind the notorious proposition.

Full story here:

SF Gay Men’s Chorus Celebrates the End of Prop 8

Moments after Prop 8 fell and the first same-sex couple wed in San Francisco City Hall, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus celebrated the marriage of Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, singing to then an excerpt of a new song called “San Francisco” from Andrew Lippa’s oratorio “I Am Harvey Milk”, world-premiered by the chorus days before in its 35th anniversary concert Harvey Milk 2013. Also seen with the newlywed couple are San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Human Rights Campaign President and Founder of the American Federation for Equal Rights Chad Hunter Griffin, Oscar-winning Producer Bruce Cohen and Oscar-winning Screenwriter for the movie “Milk” Dustin Lance Black. The chorus also sings “Give ‘Em Hope”, complemented by footage of the day when Prop 8 fell inside City Hall and that afternoon in the Castro neighborhood, as well as the wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier.

The video includes footage from the following YouTube Users:
jeffmason1212 –
visualpresentationSF –
MarriageEq2013 –
and John Maker –

The video also includes never-before-seen footage of the moment when the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 while inside San Francisco City Hall (6/26/13), and the Castro celebration that afternoon, as well as the wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (6/28/13), all filmed by and provided by SFGMC member Sean Chapin.

San Francisco Lit Up and Bonerific Post-Prop 8 Victory


As you can imagine, our beloved city by the bay went crazy last night – and given it is Pride weekend, it probably won’t stop anytime soon. I did not get a chance to get to the Castro myself (I don’t deal with large crowds very well), but here is a sprinkling of photos of what went down. See more at SFist.

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BREAKING: SCOTUS Rules Prop 8 Standing Unconstitutional; DOMA Repealed

In case you live in a sound-proof booth, the Supreme Court today ruled that defenders of Prop 8 do not have legal standing and, in a more sweeping ruling, that DOMA is unconstitutional. Here’s reaction from various groups flooding my inbox this morning.

American Foundation for Equal Rights:


Proposition 8 Is UNCONSTITUTIONAL For Good: Marriage Equality Returns to California

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Stand Landmark Federal District Court Ruling That Struck Down Prop. 8  AFER’s Legal Victory Brings Marriage Equality to Most Populous State in the Nation; 30% of Americans Now Live in a State Recognizing Marriage for All.

Today, in a historic victory for marriage equality, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry that restores marriage equality to California.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the landmark federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  It is the first case involving the right of gay and lesbian Americans to marry ever be fully briefed and argued before the Supreme Court.

AFER will hold three events TODAY to discuss the significance and impact of the Supreme Court’s decision and celebrate the historic victory for marriage equality:

1. A press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the Court is adjourned, 1 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20543.  Speaking at the press conference will be Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo; Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies; Plaintiffs’ counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.; AFER co-founder Chad Griffin; and AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer.  A short Q&A session will follow formal remarks.

2. A national media conference call at 12:30 p.m. EDT/9:30 a.m. PDT.  Call (866) 535-6106 to participate.  Enter conference ID number 77511977.  Media participants should dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the call.  Speaking on call will be Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo; Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies; Plaintiffs’ counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.; AFER co-founder Chad Griffin; AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer; and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

3. A 5:30 p.m. PDT community celebration in West Hollywood at the intersection of San Vicente Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA.  Presented by AFER and the City of West Hollywood.  AFER board member Dustin Lance Black will be master of ceremonies.   Speaking at the community celebration will be Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo; Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies; AFER co-founder Chad Griffin; AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer; and more.  Co-sponsoring the community celebration are All Saints Church, Pasadena; API Equality LA; Bienestar; California Faith for Equality; Congregational Kol Ami; Courage Campaign; Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, LGBT Program Group; Equality California; Equality Network; Founders Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles; GLAAD; Human Rights Campaign; Jordan/Rustin Coalition; LA Gay and Lesbian Center; Latino Equality Alliance; Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of LA (LGLA); Liberty Hill; Log Cabin Republicans; Love Honor Cherish; Marriage Equality USA; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Outfest; Point Foundation; Stonewall Democratic Club; The Imperial Court of Los Angeles & Hollywood; UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center; and USC LGBT Resource Center.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

au_logo_180_3DToday’s Supreme Court marriage decisions advance equality while preserving religious freedom, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The high court ruled 5-4 that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The justices said the federal statute violates the equal liberty protections of the Fifth Amendment.

The high court also ruled 5-4 that defenders of Prop. 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage, do not have standing to bring the case before the justices. That means a federal district court decision striking down the ban remains in place.
Read More at AU.ORG…


Human Rights Campaign:

History was made today as the U.S. Supreme Court held that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, returning marriage equality to California.

In addition to holding Prop. 8 unconstitutional, the Court also invalidated the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – so finally couples in the growing number of marriage equality states will also get the federal rights and benefits they deserve.

And though today will be remembered as a watershed moment in the fight for equality, the Court unfortunately stopped short of a broader decision on the fundamental right to marry.

Millions of us have been fighting for years – first to stop Prop. 8 from passing, and then to reverse it. Today’s victory, while joyous, is a reminder of the long road to win marriage equality nationwide.


Text of Supreme Court Opinion Finding Ninth Circuit Had No Jurisdiction to Hear Appeal from District Court’s Decision That California Prop. 8 Is Unconstitutional (PDF)5-4 Decision; opinion written by Justice Roberts; dissenting are Justices Alito, Kennedy, Sotomayor and Thomas. Excerpt: “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here. Because petitioners have not satisfied their burden to demonstrate standing to appeal the judgment of the District Court, the Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiction to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. ” [Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144 (U.S. June 26, 2013)] (Supreme Court of the United States) 
Text of Supreme Court Opinion Ruling DOMA Is Unconstitutional on Equal Protection Grounds (PDF)5-4 decision; opinion written by Justice Kennedy; dissenting are Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. Excerpt from the syllabus: “DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment…. By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being with in the authority and realm of the separate States…. DOMA rejects this long-established precept. The State’s decision to give this class of persons the right to marry conferred upon them a dignity and status of immense import. But the Federal Government uses the state-defined class for the opposite purpose — to impose restrictions and disabilities.” [U.S. v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (U.S. June 26, 2013)] (Supreme Court of the United States)

Bryan Fischer, AFA Spokesman


Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel


More to come, but all in all a good morning.

AFER: Potential Outcomes of Prop 8 at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end June on whether Proposition 8, California’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Here’s what could happen:


How Might the Court Rule?

The Court has many options to choose from when deciding the Prop. 8 case.  Here’s how the Justices could rule:

  1. Fifty-State Ruling: Prop. 8 and all other state marriage bans are unconstitutional. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in all fifty states.
  2. Seven-State Ruling: Civil unions and domestic partnerships are separate and unequal. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in California and the six other states with relationship recognition, in addition to the twelve states currently with marriage equality.
  3. One-State Ruling: California cannot eliminate marriage equality. Gay and lesbian couples will once again be able to get married in the state.
  4. No Standing: The Court could conclude that it does not have jurisdiction to decide the case because the Proponents of Prop. 8 do not have standing to defend in place of the Governor and Attorney General of California, who agree with AFER that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and have refused to defend it.  If this happens, the August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, and marriage equality will be restored in California.
  5. Dismissal: The Court could decide that it should not have granted review.  If this happens, the February 2012 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, ending four years of marriage inequality in California.
  6. Prop. 8 is constitutional. States may exclude gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage.

When Could Weddings Start?

If the Supreme Court rules that Prop. 8 unconstitutional, marriages could begin as the Court’s decision becomes final.  Once this happens, the Clerk of the Court will send an order to the clerk of the Ninth Circuit, and that court will issue its mandate shortly thereafter.

If the Court rules that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional (scenarios 1-3), the Proponents will have 25 days to petition for rehearing after the decision is handed down. If they do not do so, the Court’s decision will become final. If they do, the Court’s decision will be stayed while the Justices consider the petition.

Via AFER. To learn and read more, be sure to go here.

SCOTUS Prop 8 Hearings In Tweets and Photos: How did it go?

The Supreme Court has ended its day of hearings around California’s Prop 8 and a whirlwind of activity has accompanied the hearings over the past 24 hours. While I have not been able to attend any of the events, here’s a recap via photos from around the web.

Maggie Gallagher, NOM founder, walks through marriage equality crowd

Maggie Gallagher, NOM founder, walks through marriage equality crowd

A view from the City Hall steps of last night's pro-marriage equality rally in San Francisco

A view from the City Hall steps of last night’s pro-marriage equality rally in San Francisco

Seen on a San Francisco MUNI bus this morning

Seen on a San Francisco MUNI bus this morning

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC

Anti-gay group at SCOTUS in DC




Pro-marriage equality protestors

Pro-marriage equality protestors

Rainbows and anti-gays

Rainbows and anti-gays

Pro marriage equality folks

Pro marriage equality folks

More in the hate march

More in the hate march


And how did it go? First, here’s Prop 8 lawyer Ted Olson:



And a number of reporters who covered the story:


Screenshot_3_26_13_10_26_AM Screenshot_3_26_13_10_27_AM 2 Screenshot_3_26_13_10_27_AM 3 Screenshot_3_26_13_10_27_AM Screenshot_3_26_13_10_28_AMSCOTUSblog has issued its first analysis:

Much will be written about the Proposition 8 oral argument. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that the Court probably will not have the five votes necessary to get to any result at all, and almost certainly will not have five votes to decide the merits of whether Proposition 8 is constitutional.

Several Justices seriously doubt whether the petitioners defending Proposition 8 have “standing” to appeal the district court ruling invalidating the measure. These likely include not only more liberal members but also the Chief Justice. If standing is lacking, the Court would vacate the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

The Justices seem divided on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 on ideological lines, four to four – i.e., all the members other than Justice Kennedy. For the more liberal members of the Court, there was no clarity on how broadly they would rule.

Their conclusion:

The upshot of either scenario is a modest step forward for gay rights advocates, but not a dramatic one. The Court would stay its hand for some time for society to develop its views further. But combined with a potentially significant ruling in the DOMA case being argued tomorrow, the Term will likely nonetheless end up as very significant to gay rights.

Via Joe.My.God, Queerty, The New Civil Rights Movement

How SCOTUS Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage



The New York Times has created this lovely chart of potential outcomes of the Supreme Court’s review of DOMA and Prop 8 – scheduled to begin tomorrow. While the rulings will likely come in June, the transcripts from the hearings may give us a clue as to what direction SCOTUS is leaning.

This is a historic week for LGBTs so get ready for a lot of coverage out of DC. We’ll keep you posted.