Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

CA Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8 Challenge

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/28/08

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -
On Thanksgiving Eve, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear several legal challenges to Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to end marriage for same-sex couples in California. On November 5th, the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lambda Legal legally challenged the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California.  

The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Clara, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles.  ACLU reports that since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5th, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed including petitions filed by the California Council of Churches, leading African American, Latino and Asian American groups, and two prominent California women's rights organizations. 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), founded 31 years ago, "was born out of a belief that we could do the impossible," explains Executive Director Kate Kendell.  In this year-old video, founders Roberta Achtenberg and Donna Hitchens provide much of the history behind the NCLR, which initially focused exclusively on parental rights for lesbians.  Eventually, the focus expanded to include marital rights for all. Their most famous case – one that garnered international attention – won the guardianship of Sharon Kowalski by her lover, Karen Thompson, after Kowalski suffered brain injuries from a drunk driver and her biological family refused visitation to Thompson.   


NCLR hasn't stopped, despite their historic victory in May when the California Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry.  In describing the November 5th Writ Petition, NCLR explains: 

"The petition argues that the California Supreme Court should strike down Proposition 8 because it makes such a significant change to the core underlying principle of equal protection and is therefore a revision, not a mere amendment of the California Constitution.  

"The principle of equal protection protecting minority groups from oppression by the majority is central to our constitution and our democratic system of government. Proposition 8 would limit that fundamental principle of equal protection for LGBT Californians and undermines the very purpose of equal protection." 

- Advertisement -

OpEdNews writers have been covering Prop 8: Deb Della Pinia names the orgs that violated their 501(c)(3) status by contributing funds to the political contest over equal protection in California, in her blistering piece, The greatest civil rights battle of our generation.  Amy Bernstein concludes in Why Same Sex Marriage Rights Are Inevitable: 

"Whatever the court decides, there should be no doubt as to the ultimate outcome for the issue across the board: Equal rights for gay Americans -- including the right to marry and adopt children -- will become the law of the land, whether on a painstaking state-by-state basis, or by the sweep of federal law.  And not only will these rights be granted, they will widely be taken for granted, as well."   

Her logic for this conclusion is inescapable.  Targeting a specific minority for exclusion from the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution eventually results in victorious protections for the class.  Given Tuesday's ruling in Florida overturning the gay adoption ban, and the California Supreme Court ruling in May, the LGBT community has reason to hope our day in the sun is near.

The ACLU reports that no initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right from a targeted minority group.  "Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights.  According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of the state constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote but must first be approved by two-thirds of the legislature."

A copy of the ACLU-NCLR-Lamba Legal Writ Petition can be found here.  The five other Writ Petitions can be found here.  In addition to the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR, the legal team bringing the writ also includes the Law Office of David C. Codell; Munger Tolles & Olson, LLP; and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. 

In related news, see Florida Gay Adoption Ban Ruled 'Not Rational.'

- Advertisement -


In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Anne Kilkenny Full Email on Sarah Palin

Zeitgeist Addendum: Steps toward a sustainable future

Kevorkian: The Right to Die and Other 9th Amendment Freedoms

Afghan Women Protest Marital Rape Law; Men Spit and Stone Them

The new weapons of genetic engineering


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 24 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AN A WOMAN,WHY SHOULD 4O... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 3:55:29 AM
Refer to the blue box in this article: Florida Gay... by Rady Ananda on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 2:29:29 AM
THOU SHALT NOT LIE WITH MANKIND, AS WITH WOMANKIND... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 4:18:18 AM
YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM THE TRUTH.... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 10:58:05 AM
The comments from "rich racer" (I read t... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 11:31:48 AM
of church and state, as articulated in Thomas Jeff... by Rady Ananda on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM
CONGRESS PASSED, AND PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNED,THED... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 12:39:14 PM
PLEASE BUT MY LAST COMMENT IN THE CLOSET WITH THE ... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 12:52:32 PM
If the people are not allowed to state what should... by steve scheetz on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 1:27:42 PM
WHAT 92% TO EXCEPT THEIR VIEWS. SHOULD HAVE NEVER ... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 1:56:18 PM
The US Constitution protects minorities from the t... by Rady Ananda on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 2:39:16 PM
because Government has no business in the business... by steve scheetz on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 9:22:33 PM
Rady, I would like to emphasize that I am not defe... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 2:17:12 PM
I unhid his rants. UPDATE: but then a managing ... by Rady Ananda on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 2:47:36 PM
I AM, 8% TO 92% THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME, REMEMBER ... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 3:53:35 PM
FINELY IS A LIVE AND WELL ON OPEDNEWS AGAIN. ARE W... by rich racer on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 5:00:43 PM
For someone who threatens, in your OEN biography t... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 5:05:00 PM
stands the establishment clause on its head. ... by steve scheetz on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 9:29:50 PM
The lawsuit contesting the results of Proposition ... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 1:20:12 AM
However, the fact is that your being against prop ... by steve scheetz on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:23:31 PM
You state that the California constitution bans sa... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:18:10 PM
I am not familar with the subject ballot initiativ... by Mad Jayhawk on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 at 11:50:35 PM
The basis issue in proposition 8 is not really who... by Paul Kruger on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 5:30:18 PM
If you read all of the comments posted by Rady Ana... by Blaine Kinsey on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 8:26:11 PM