Governor: Prop. 8 lawsuit raises important issues

Asks for speedy resolution from U.S. judge

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has told a U.S. judge in San Francisco that a federal lawsuit challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage poses "important constitutional questions."

The governor in a court filing on Tuesday took no position on whether the ban, enacted by voters in November as Proposition 8, is constitutional.

But he said the lawsuit filed last month by two same-sex couples presents important legal issues "that require and warrant judicial determination." The governor also urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to decide the case quickly.

Walker is scheduled to hold a hearing July 2 on the couples' bid for a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of Proposition 8.

The lawsuit was filed the day after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 on May 26. The couples claim the ban on same-sex marriage violates their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal treatment.

For procedural reasons, the governor and other state officials are named as defendants in the lawsuit. But the main task of defending Proposition 8 is expected to be carried out by the sponsors of the initiative. They filed a brief last week saying that "nothing in the Constitution requires such a radical redefinition of the ancient institution of marriage."

California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, said in a response brief last week that he believes the ban violates the federal Constitution because "it cannot be squared" with the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal treatment.

But both Brown and Schwarzenegger urged Walker to hold off on issuing a preliminary injunction and to wait until he reaches a final judgment in the case before issuing any orders.

They said a preliminary injunction before there is a final resolution of the case could create public uncertainty and "legal limbo."

The federal lawsuit was filed by Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo of Burbank. Both couples say they want to marry, but were denied marriage licenses by their county clerks' offices because of Proposition 8.

Their lawyers are prominent attorneys Theodore Olson of Washington, D.C., and David Boies of Armonk, N.Y., who argued on opposite sides of the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election.

Proposition 8, enacted as a state constitutional amendment, overturned a May 2008 decision in which the California Supreme Court said the state constitution provided a right to same-sex marriage.

The court upheld the ballot measure on May 26 as being within voters' initiative power. At the same time, however, the court said that 18,000 gay and lesbian marriages performed before the Nov. 4 election will remain valid.

--Bay City News

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Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

This article started out promising. I'm left wondering, "What are the constitutional questions?" I can think of some off the top of my head, but what are the main players in the saga focusing on?

Like this comment
Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:58 am

The argument presented to the state supreme court was that Prop 8 was a substantial and fundamental change to California's State Constitution, therefore the change can occur through either a state constitutional convention or submitted by the state legislature. The court disagreed. Now, I believe, the argument at the federal level is denial of the guarantee of equal treatment.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02 am

When will this end? As if I don't know the answer.. until the other side wins because all the other states have it?

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:29 am

This just won't stop... everything is questionable and debatable... just find a sympathetic judge and just like the movies/TV shows, find a friendly judge and you will have your way... there will be plenty of lawyers to letigate... money is money... who cares.. this is what our society has become... I guess this is the beauty of a democracy... until we become a socialist state under Obama's guidance and everything will be dictated by the government... everyone will be happy then... enjoy your democracy until you lose it...

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:31 am

Lemme see...Sarah Palin cheated on her hubby...Senator Ensign cheated on his wife; Cynthia Hampton cheated on her hubby....seems to me that they're all Conservative Republican in needs of advice from GLBT married couples! Is that the point?

Please posters, try to take the HIGH ROAD and stop all this hate stuff....enough is enough!

Like this comment
Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

SteveP is a registered user.

Sarah Palin cheated on her husband? Where did you get that information? Gotta Link?
Did she kill the person she had an affair with, like Ted Kennedy?

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Cholo, why are you being some pro-democrates? Do you mean none of the democrates ever cheat? Is my memory deceiving me? It seems to me that ALL politician (maybe all human beings, except a few) have cheated... You have name a few elephants.. how about mentioning some donkeys? like JFK, Slick Willie, Clean John Edwards and etc.. Let's be fair to both sides... both sides have their sinners....

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

DOMA supporter! hahahahahahahahhaahhahahahahaahahhaahhahahaha...

Web Link

I love the latest news about Sen. ensign. You have to admit, this is very funny stuff!!!

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