Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 Overturned: Conference Call August 5 with National LGBT Bar Association

The following is merely a reposting from the National LGBT Bar Association regarding the recent finding in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that overtuned Pro 8 in California.  Please direct any questions to them, and RSVP if you're interested in the conference call tomorrow with legal experts explaining the decision. 

The case will now--potentially--be headed for the SCOTUS.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has struck down California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In 2008, “Prop. 8” amended the California State Constitution to prohibit the state from legally recognizing same-sex marriages performed on or after November 5, 2008. In today’s decision, Judge Vaughn Walker declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional…Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8.”

Click here to read the full decision.

The National LGBT Bar Association would like to congratulate the American Foundation for Equal Rights and lead attorneys Theodore Olson and David Bois for this historic victory.

Tomorrow, August 5th, the National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in to discuss the victory, including analysis of the decision and the probable appeal. The call will be led by Kate Kendell (Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights) and Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr. (John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School).

Perry v. Schwarzenegger Conference Call
Thursday, August 5, 2010 3:00pm EDT
Please RSVP to receive dial-in information and instructions on how to submit questions during the call.
This call will be 30 minutes in length and is open to the public.

Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Through direct litigation and advocacy, NCLR works to change discriminatory laws and to create new laws and policies benefiting the LGBT community. Growing up Mormon in Utah, Kate learned about the complexities of religion and politics from an early age. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988 and a few years practicing corporate law, she pursued her real love—civil rights advocacy—and became the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. There she directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, free speech, the rights of LGBT people, and the intersection of church and state. In 1994 she joined NCLR as legal director, and was named executive director two years later. Under her leadership, NCLR’s programs, budget, and impact have grown exponentially, and the issues facing the LGBT community—from homophobia in sports to immigration policy—have taken center stage in our nation’s discussion of civil rights and justice. Kate is a nationally recognized spokesperson for LGBT rights and has an active voice in major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Advocate, NPR, CNN, and many others. Despite the national success of NCLR under her tenure, her most rewarding responsibilities still include fostering alliances on the community and organizational levels, and advocating from a grass-roots perspective on issues concerning social justice. Kate and her spouse, Sandy Holmes, live in San Francisco with their son, Julian, age 13, and daughter Ariana, age 8. Their family includes Kate’s daughter Emily, age 28.

Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School. His primary legal academic interest has been statutory interpretation. Together with Professor Philip Frickey, he developed an innovative casebook on Legislation. In 1990-95, Professor Eskridge represented a gay couple suing for recognition of their same-sex marriage. Since then, he has published a field-establishing casebook, three monographs, and dozens of law review articles articulating a legal and political framework for proper state treatment of sexual and gender minorities. The historical materials in the book on Gaylaw formed the basis for an amicus brief he drafted for the Cato Institute and for much of the Court's (and the dissenting opinion's) analysis in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which invalidated consensual sodomy laws. His most recent book is Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse? Professor Eskridge received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Davidson College, his masters in History from Harvard, and his J.D. from Yale.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated LGBT legal organizations. The association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.