Prop H8 Case is Rejected on Standing

California’s Proposition 8 case was rejected by the Supreme Court based on standing.  This is an important legal term meaning the man who filed the appeal had no basis for doing so because he wasn’t affected by the law.  The ruling means the Court couldn’t rule on the constitutionality of marriage because the party bringing the action had no legal basis for doing so.

It means also that the Ninth Circuit had no basis for deciding the case so the decision of the state court stands making marriage equality the law in California.  This is a win for the LGBT community in a flawed case which prevented a landmark decision affecting the entire country.

Casey Not Supporting Marriage Equality

In a week where the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on both DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. remains one of only ten Democratic Senators not supporting marriage equality.  Equal rights are a fundamental American trait but the country remains divided between those who have all the rights and those who do not.  This two class system is one of sexual apartheid.  Though LGBT persons pay the same taxes as straight couples they are denied over a thousand federal rights given to the others.  These include Social Security survivor benefits, the ability to file taxes jointly, inherit pensions, etc.

When Casey ran for the Senate in 2006 much of Pennsylvania’s LGBT leadership supported him because he openly pandered tot he community reversing his long standing opposition to gay adoption and several other issues.  As of today though he is still opposed to equality.  This is shameful.  I didn’t support him in 2006 due to his long record opposing gay rights and engaged in several email arguments with some of those who believed Casey supported us.  Who’s crying now?  Sen. Casey needs to come into the 21st Century and stop supporting sexual apartheid.

9th Circuit Strikes Down Discrimination

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an appeal by proponents of discrimination today.  The effort to restore the hateful Proposition 8 initiative against marriage equality went down in a decision by the full court.  The next step would be an appeal to the Supreme Court which is expected.  If so it could be joined with challenges to DOMA.  On a conference call this afternoon attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson took questions from the media and discussed the historic decision.  AFER founder Chad Griffin, on his way to DC to work for the Human Rights campaign, said discrimination went to court and lost today.  The 9th Circuit said this:

Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”

Indeed, the 14th Amendment guarantees every American equal justice under law.  Those words are engraved on the front of the Supreme Court and time will tell how many of the nine Justices believe them.

Court: No More H8 in California

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage this afternoon.  The 2-1 decision was issued following  a lengthy court battle where the proponents of hatred and bigotry were unable to mount any coherent legal argument for their position.  AFER, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, fought hard for this landmark civil rights action.

There is no longer any foundation for inequality in California.  The fight against Proposition 8 has been long and those against equal rights for all are bound to appeal this to the U.S. Supreme Court.  For now, however, all Californians will be equal in the eyes of the law when it comes to marriage.  Gays, lesbians and transgenders can now wed the person they love and enjoy the fruits of equality in more than just the taxes they pay.  

Proposition H8 Loses Again

Proponents of Proposition 8 in California lost anothe rround in court.  The proponents of hate tried to disqualify Judge Vaughn Walker from ruling due to the fact he is in a long term relationship with another man.  Their argument that a gay man can’t rule on an issue affecting gays was ridiculous.  According to such logic no African-American could rule on racial matters, women couldn’t rule on gender issues and white men couldn’t rule on corporate matters.  Judge James Ware rejected the advocates of hate saying Disqualifying Judge Walker based on an inference that he intended to take advantage of a future legal benefit made available by constitutional protections would result in an unworkable standard for disqualification.”

The American Foundation For Equal Rights had this to say:

“This is a powerful ruling that makes clear that gay and lesbian judges are entitled to the same presumptions of fairness and impartiality as all other federal judges and that rejects the false and  unreasonable assumptions and stereotypes that the Proposition 8 Proponents asserted in this deeply offensive motion,” said AFER attorney Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.  “Other courts will look to this decision for many years to come. We are also pleased to see that Chief Judge Ware addressed the issue of equal protection in which all members of society have a stake.”

In his ruling, Chief Judge Ware discussed the issue of equal protection as such: “The fact that this is a case challenging a law on equal protection and due process grounds being prosecuted by members of a minority group does not mean that members of the minority group have a greater interest in equal protection and due process than the rest of society. In our society, a variety of citizens of different backgrounds coexist because we have constitutionally bound ourselves to protect the fundamental rights of one another from being violated by unlawful treatment.  Thus, we all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right.”

The Prop H8 Decision

Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision overturning California’s Proposition 8 was a welcome relief for all those who cherish equality under law.  The well reasoned and well written decision outlined the case quite well and undercut all of the myths and bigoted beliefs against granting all Americans identical access to what it terms a “fundamental right.”  The proponents of sexual apartheid actually were forced into a federal court to prove the fear mongering advertisements they used to convince voters gays and lesbians were evil sexual predators looking to recruit children.  Of course this is as nonsensical as many of the conservatives other beliefs and they were unable to prove any of it in court.

So bad was their case the Judge totally dismissed the testimony of their “expert witnesses” because, as it turned out, they weren’t experts at all.  In fact they hadn’t even read most of the studies on the matter.  Their opinions weren’t supported by any facts and therefore their case was thrown out.

Judge Walker affirmed that marriage is a fundamental right which has undergone massive changes in our country’s history.  He also cited cultures where homosexuality is open and accepted and where couples are free to wed.  Studies prove children of same sex parents grown up as well adjusted as any others and that there is no risk to child molestation.  In fact the vast majority of sexual molesters are white heterosexual men.  

The decision also affirms the right that no minority group can have their fundamental rights stripped away at the ballot box.  Judge Walker condemned the practice early in his written  dissertation.  An appeal of the decision was filed yesterday but, by my understanding of the law, it must be based on this case as presented to this court.  If so I don’t understand how this can be overturned because the case presented by the proponents was so weak as to be wholly dismissed.

It is difficult to describe what this means to the LGBT community.  We were demonized, victimized and described as sub human by those against gay marriage in thousands of commercials, speeches and campaign materials during a campaign which became known as Proposition H8.  The Mormon Church combined with evangelical christian cults to raise millions of dollars to spread their message of hate and they failed.  Some friends and regular readers of TPP happened to be in Salt Lake City at the time and report that thousands of gays and lesbians marched on the LDS tabernacle and surrounded it celebrating the overturning of Prop H8 and desired to let the Mormon cult know how happy they were justice was served.  The Mormons locked down their temple trapping my friends inside.

Mary Matalin, on CNN Thursday morning claimed gay marriage is not a civil right and called the decision an “overreach.”  She obviously hadn’t read it and we know why she’s a pundit and not a lawyer.  Marriage has been a right and Judge Walker termed it a “fundamental right.”  There are 1138 federal rights which go with marriage and this is why another Judge (Republican at that) recently ruled the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.  You cannot have separate classes of citizens under the law and depriving LGBT citizens of those rights creates a system of sexual apartheid.  That is clearly unconstitutional.

The Judge also declared Prop 8 unconstitutional under the due process clause.  Since same sex couples are forced to pay lawyers to draft legal documents in lieu of a right to marry they are deprived of property without due process.  Since married couples are documented to live longer and earn greater assets this also creates a violation of due process.  Denying anyone of life, liberty or property without due process is unconstitutional.

Tea Partiers are so fond of their pocket constitutions but they either don’t read it or don’t comprehend its meanings.  Judge Walker does and determined that no one has the right to deprive someone else of their rights.  It really is as simple as that.

A Victory For H8

The forces of hate were victorious today in California.  The state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of last fall’s voter referendum making GLBT citizens officially second class.  The enshrinement of discrimination into the laws of California is a decided win for all those who hate, are intolerant, impose their bigotry on others, and who are unable to understand the words etched onto the Supreme Court:  “Equal Justice Under Law.”

Allies Rally Against Bigotry in Allentown

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and their supporters allied themselves yesterday in Allentown for a rally against California’s Proposition 8.  About 250 people braved a cold wind to listen to a succession of speakers drown out a few Repent America protesters.Seven ministers were among the crowd including a group of supporters from the Universal Unitarians:

Various signs promoting equal rights and supporting the GLBT community told the story:

Speakers included David Moyer who has been with his partner for 27 years but still cannot have their relationship recognized or legalized.  Liz Bradbury of the Pennsylvania Diversity Network spoke passionately about the ignorance of those opposing equal rights and pointed tot he Repent America bigots as she did so.

Rev. Elizabeth Goudy of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley spoke and introduced the other speakers.  

Liz Bradbury:

There was even music:

Adrian Shanker, President of the Muhlenberg College GSA:

David Moyer:

Another pastor:

Last but not least, Rob Hopkins Vice Chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party: