Posts Tagged ‘equality’

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Prop 8 Date: March 26 – DOMA Challenge Too – Back-to-Back Showdown Over LGBT Civil Rights

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Well here’s the big news, direct from the Office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, below.

Via Steve Rhodes - click to expand

“U.S. Supreme Court sets Prop 8 oral argument date for March 26

DOMA challenge scheduled for the next day, setting the stage for back-to-back showdown over LGBT civil rights

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 7, 2013) — The U.S. Supreme Court moments ago published its formal argument calendar for March 2013, scheduling oral arguments in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, called Hollingsworth v. Perry, for March 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT (7:00 a.m. PDT).

Another case that is also related to same-sex marriage rights — a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA — will be heard the following day, on March 27, at the same time. That case is called United States v. Windsor.

In granting review to both marquee marriage equality cases exactly one month ago, the nation’s highest court set the stage for potentially landmark rulings on LGBT civil rights that promise to be the most eagerly-anticipated of the current court term. Rulings are expected by the end of June.

The legal issues at stake in the challenge to Prop 8, the controversial 2008 ballot measure that eliminated marriage rights for same-sex partners in California, are two-fold: first, whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and second, whether the proponents of Prop 8 have legal standing to litigate the case.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights filed the lawsuit in May 2009 on behalf two California couples who sought to marry: Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. They are represented by lead counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies. City Attorney Dennis Herrera intervened as a co-plaintiff in the case in August 2009, renewing San Francisco’s groundbreaking pubic sector legal advocacy for the broader societal interest to end marriage discrimination against lesbian and gay couples. At trial, Herrera and his legal team provided extensive evidence that state and local governments derive significant societal and economic benefits when same-sex partners enjoy equal marriage rights — and, conversely, that denying such rights inflicts grave injustices on the LGBT community that, in turn, harm government and society at large.

When the high court granted review to the case on Dec. 7, 2012, Herrera said: “The federal challenge to Prop 8 represents one of the most significant civil rights cases to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, and I’m confident that the high court will reach a decision that reaffirms our Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s argument calendar for March is published online here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_calendars/MonthlyArgumentCalMar2013.pdf

The comprehensive timeline of San Francisco’s legal battle for marriage equality since February 2004 is available on City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s website at:

http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=23

The Prop 8 case is: Hollingsworth v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-144.  The DOMA case is: United States v. Windsor, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-307.”

Tink happy tots…

DJH and company, 2008, Civic Center:

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ZOMG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Graces UC Hastings Law School for “Legally Speaking” Series

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Get all the deets right here about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent visit to U.C. Hastings, the first law school of the American West.

And writer Bob Egelko was there so be sure to take a look.

RBG also paid a visit to Professor David Faigman‘s Constitutional Law class earlier in the day:

James Block

  • Legally Speaking: Conversations with the Most Interesting Lawyers in the World
  • Professor Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law
  • Professor David L. Faigman, John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, Director, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy

Newsom, Obama and the Gay Weddings of 2004: A Slight Revision of History

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I don’t know, it seems San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is a little hacked off these days because President Barack Obama didn’t want the two of them to be photographed together back in 2004, a time when Gavin was seen as uniquely emblematic of the marriage equality issue. Barack didn’t want photos of the two of them together on the Associated Press wire available for publication in every podunk newspaper all over the country – he didn’t want to deal with that issue.  

All right, fair enough. But I can recall a time when Gavin himself was hacked off over a certain photograph depicting marriage equality being on the AP wire.  

Leave us travel back to aught-four, when gay weddings were going on all over City Hall. At the time, some folks from Room 200 were very sensitive about the idea of the Mayor being photographed or filmed while he himself was officiating weddings. For whatever reason.

So when he agreed, as a courtesy, to officiate the wedding of a couple of blondes in his elegant office*, the press was emphatically banned despite the fact that they (quite reasonably) felt that they were invited to the ceremony. The media were forced to bide their time waiting just outside the Mayor’s Office.

And this was the scene of the scrum in the hallway afterwards. You might find Waldo in there, but not Gavin: 

But look, here he is officiating the ceremony just five minutes before:

This particular photo was processed, emailed, released to the AP, and published in podunk newspapers within hours, to the consequent consternation of the mayor’s people. It seems perfectly cromulent now but, at the time, this kind of scene was seen by some as Too Hot For Publication. 

Of course that certainly was a bold move Gavin made in 2004, no doubt about it. I’ll tell you, back in the 1990′s I took a course from a local professor who, in 2003, strongly supported and volunteered for Gavin’s brainy opponent in that year’s mayoral election. But soon thereafter, said professor’s opinion of Mayor Newsom did a 180 solely because of the marriage equality issue - the prof. would go on and on about how much he appreciated Gavin’s actions, and later on, he actually supported Gavin’s reelection (along with the good bulk of everybody else) in 2007.

So nobody doubts the mayor of San Francisco really stuck his neck out on this issue back in the day. But students of history should be foregiven if they can’t square their memories of 2004 100% with what’s being said in 2010.

Just saying.

*Hello, Maureen’s fact-checkers in New Yawk? Starting up a boutique wine shop in Napa Valley” makes about as much sense as opening a coal shop in Newcastle. How about a Napa Valley wine shop in San Francisco – that would be a lot closer to the mark. Just saying.

Another Nail in the Coffin for California’s Proposition 8

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Comes word today from Quintin Mecke of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano‘s office about a non-budget related vote in Sacramento. Of course Prop 8 passed by a fair margin in 2008 but judging by the pack of hyenas on the attack in 2009, it might not be around for too long a time.

Just saying. Here’s the latest:

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PASSES RESOLUTION OPPOSING PROP 8
Ammiano Measure Supports Equal Rights
 
Today the members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed House Resolution 5 (Ammiano, D-San Francisco) by a vote of 7 to 3, which resolves that the Assembly opposes the implementation of Prop 8.  H.R. 5 states that Prop 8 is an improper revision of the California Constitution.

On the job (on a State Holiday) in San Francisco, not too long ago.

I am proud of my colleagues and their unequivocal support of equal treatment for all Californians. This resolution speaks directly to the fundamental rights of same-sex couples to have equal protection under the Constitution, rights that cannot be taken away by popular vote. I am confident that the Assembly will support the repeal of Proposition 8 and confirm the basic rights of all Californians,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), author of HR 5.
 
Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers union, added “The Legislature again affirmed the rights of the minority to have equal protection under the Constitution.  If Prop 8 is upheld, it would have a devastating effect on the hard won rights for women, minorities, and the disabled.  We look to the court to extend equal protections of the law to all as the Legislature had done with the passage of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.”
 
The resolution points out that a revision is a substantial change to the underlying principles of the California Constitution, or to the structure of California’s basic governmental plan.  As a result, pursuant to the California Constitution, the Legislature must initiate a change of this magnitude; it cannot be accomplished through the initiative process.
 
A similar measure, Senate Resolution 7, has been introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).  That measure resolves that the California State Senate also oppose Prop 8 on constitutional grounds.  It will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee soon.
 
The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the legality of the state’s gay marriage ban on March 5.  On January 15, sixty-five current and former state legislators, including Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, filed a friend of the court brief seeking to invalidate Proposition 8 because it circumvents basic protections required by our Constitution and eliminates a fundamental right for a minority of Californians. 

To be continued…

Another Huge Anti-Proposition 8 Rally at San Francsico’s City Hall

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Well, it’s on SFGate so it must be true: “Thousands of demonstrators” gathered in front of San Francisco City Hall this morning to voice their beef with Prop 8. That’s a big improvement over coverage from the MSM from just a week ago.

Famous blogger Phil Bronstein now makes light of the erroneous estimate of 1000 souls from the Chronicle / SFGate / the Associated Press at last week’s march down Market Street. Apparently, being off by an order of magnitude or two on crowd estimates is par for the course in the mainstream media. (Be careful, else you’ll wind up on the “Gay Enemies List,” and you don’t want to be there.)

Count for yourself:

What’s interesting is that there appears to be no effort to figure out what went wrong with the 1000 person estimate. It was a mistake made by one person that didn’t get caught by the vaunted multi-layer vetting process that separates newspapers from the Internets. Oh well.  

Watch ABC News play it safe here:

One of the largest rallies was on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, considered ground zero in the battle for same sex marriage. Lesbian activist Carole Migden whipped the crowd up as she declared, “They hate us. Let’s just acknowledge it.” Then she pushed the crowd “to turn our rage into action.”

A partial speakers list:

Senator Carole Migden
Senator-Elect Mark Leno
Assembly Member-Elect Tom Ammiano
Amos Brown
Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis; Plaintiffs in the California marriage case
Mark Oliver and Clark Pingree; Representing “Mormons for Marriage”
Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon
Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake

And speaking of SFGate, let’s take a look at a charming comment contained therein:

thechamp1

11/15/2008 12:27:51 PM
FIRST COMMENT : EAT SH** AND DIE FAG*S

Oh well.  

Off the protesters went up Market Street.

To be continued…

Huge Protest Prop 8 Rally Going Down Market Street Tonight

Friday, November 7th, 2008

This march looked like it was going to be huge before it even began at 5:30 PM tonight, what with eight choppers above the staging area.

As was seen with the recent candlelight vigil, there’s a lot of energy left in San Francisco to fight 2008′s Proposition 8.

Click to expand:

Local pols Bevan Dufty, Jose Cisneros and Carole Migden were last seen heading towards the march. This one had the look of having tens of thousands of participants, when all is said and done.

To be continued…

UPDATE: CHeck out the Comments section for the test of some of the signs, courtesy of petshop grrl:

“- IT’S ABOUT C-I-V-I-L MARRIAGE, STUPID
- WANT ACCESS TO 100% MARRIAGE NOT 90% CIVIL UNION
- STOP READING THE BIBLE W-R-O-N-G
(STOP READING THE BIBLE G-N-O-R-W)
- THE COURTS ARE THERE TO PROTECT MINORITIES
- EVERYONE STRUGGLES FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
- SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
- WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY, CALIFORNIA
- RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY HAS NO PLACE IN CIVIL LAW
- MY MOMMY IS “CIVIL-UNIONED”… GREAAAT :(
- “I’M MARRIED” “I’M CIVIL-UNIONED”:
IT SURE FEEELS DIFFERENT, DOESN’T IT?
- MARRIAGE ALWAYS WAS A CIVIL CONTRACT — NOT RELIGIOUS
- STILL WANT MY TAX-EXEMPT STATUS, PLEASE
- STILL WANT MY “WEDDING” PRESENTS — NOT CIVIL UNION PURCHASES
- SEPARATE CAN NEVER BE EQUAL
- SECOND-CLASS CIVIL UNIONS — NOT!
- I CAN’T TALK ABOUT MY TWO MOMMYS IN KINDERGARTEN CLASS :(
- SHARE, SHARE MARRIAGE
- 48 TO 52%
A BEAR MAJORITY IS BALANCE?”

Huge No on Proposition 8 Candlelight Vigil at City Hall

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

A large crowd gathered at the steps of City Hall tonight to commiserate on the passing of Proposition 8.

See the people and read what Senator Carole Migden and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin had to say here.

An ocean of people on Polk Street. Click to expand:

Time appears to be on the side of the No on 8 people. They’ll be plenty of court action and elections in the future…

Maybe it’s too early for backbiting?

The people in the crowd seemed to have a lot of energy for future fights, anyway.

Marriage Freedom the Theme of the San Francisco Gay Pride Celebration 2008

Monday, June 30th, 2008

The streets of San Francisco were hopping yesterday what with the final day of Pride 2008.

See a slideshow of photos here and read all about it here.

Pride parade on Market Street with the Ferry Building in the background. Click to expand:

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This fellow hung out at an intersection with his home-made bloodied crucifix for a good long while:

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Perhaps he wouldn’t be too receptive to this mathematical identity: “Christian + Gay = O.K.”

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And just when you think the whole world has gone gay, along comes a person who displayed heterosexual pride. His simple message: “I Love My Girlfriend.”

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How sweet. See you next year.

Marriage Equity Ruling a Huge Victory for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera

Friday, May 16th, 2008

By now, you’ve seen headlines: Marriage Ruling a Victory for Newsom. Which is fair enough.

But you might have missed this recent piece about City Attorney Dennis Herrera in glossy, fluffy San Francisco Magazine:

The mayor may get all the credit, or blame, for pushing the marriage-equality issue before the Supreme Court, but the person who deserves it—San Francisco’s real Marrying Man—is Herrera.

Well, O.K. then.

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The author of the article, freelance legal affairs journalist Susan Kostal then went on to consult her crystal ball and opine:

My own bet was a 4–3 vote in favor of marriage equality

Bingo. She got it right. Three cheers for writer Susan Kostal as well as up-and-coming Dennis Herrera.  

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