/ January 6, 2009

Latest Legal Arguments Filed To Lift Ban On Gay Marriage

Local California governments, San Francisco and Santa Clara County, filed their latest arguments to Proposition 8, describing the voter-approved initiative as a “dark moment” in California history. The brief refutes the legal arguments of Proposition 8 backers as the Supreme Court weighs a challenge from government officials, civil rights groups and same-sex couples who are seeking the right to marry.

The San Francisco brief sides with the unique argument raised in December by Attorney General Jerry Brown, who argues that voters did not have the authority to strip away a fundamental constitutional right when they approved Proposition 8 in November. Brown, who ordinarily would be forced to defend state law, argued in his December brief that the state Supreme Court’s decision striking down California’s prior gay marriage ban established that fundamental right to marry.

Proposition 8 supporters, represented by former Whitewater prosecutor and Pepperdine law school dean Kenneth Starr, also responded with fresh legal arguments Monday, calling Brown’s argument an attempt to “declare a constitutional revolution.”
A series of lawsuits was filed shortly after the election, challenging Proposition 8 as an invalid method of amending the California Constitution. Proposition 8 supporters insist the law is valid, and that the Supreme Court does not have the right to topple the will of the voters.

The Supreme Court has set a deadline for final briefs to be filed by late January, and could hear the case as early as March. A decision could come by early summer. The court will decide the fate of the gay marriage ban, as well as the validity of thousands of same-sex marriages that have already taken place in the past six months.

Source: Mercury News 

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