News


Prop. 8 supporters file appeal of judge's order against state's same-sex marriage ban

U. S. District Court Judge Walker to decide Friday on holding off on his order pending appeal

Supporters of Proposition 8 have filed an official notice of appeal of Wednesday's ruling by a federal judge in San Francisco that struck

down California's ban on same-sex marriage.

The notice of appeal was filed by the initiative's sponsors minutes after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued the ruling Wednesday. It was posted on the court's electronic docket today.

The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could take months.

Walker, ruling in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples, said the voter-approved initiative violated the U. S. Constitution's guarantees of

due process and equal protection.

Walker suspended the ruling at least until Friday, while he considers whether to grant a long-term stay during the appeal.

Late Wednesday, Charles Cooper, the chief lawyer for Proposition 8, issued a statement saying Walker's ruling "sweeps away...the historical

understanding of marriage."

In his ruling Wednesday, Walker wrote, "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license."

Walker issued his 136-page ruling after holding a 13-day nonjury trial in January on a lawsuit filed last year by two same-sex couples.

The proceeding was the nation's first federal trial on a state ban on same-sex marriage. The case could eventually go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Proposition 8 was enacted by a majority of 52 percent of state voters in November 2008 and provided that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The initiative was defended at the trial by its sponsors and their campaign committee, ProtectMarriage.com.

The two couples' lead attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies, said the ruling affirmed a fundamental right to marriage found by the U.S. Supreme Court in other types of cases.

Olson, a former U.S. solicitor general, said, "This decision recognizes that Proposition 8 denied the plaintiffs, and tens of thousands of other Californians, that fundamental constitutional right and treated them unequally."

But Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the Proposition 8 sponsors, said they expect to win on appeal.

"Wednesday's ruling is clearly a disappointment," Pugno said. "But this is not the end of our fight to uphold the will of the people for traditional marriage. We are confident that the trial court record we built will help us ultimately prevail on appeal and reverse Wednesday's ruling."

Meanwhile, two couples who challenged Proposition 8, California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage, joined their attorneys and other supporters in San Francisco Wednesday to voice their approval shortly after a federal judge overturned the initiative.

Berkeley resident Kris Perry, who joined her partner Sandy Stier as one of the two couples who challenged the initiative, said the "system worked" with Walker's ruling.

"Our courts are supposed to protect our constitutional rights, and Wednesday they did," Perry said. "Wednesday every American should be proud."

Stier added, "Wednesday we can go to sleep knowing that our hopes and our dreams to...have a legal marriage can be realized and are close to becoming true."

The proponents of Prop. 8 and their campaign committee, ProtectMarriage.com, asked for a stay of the ruling in a filing late Tuesday while they appeal Walker's decision.

The lawyers for the two couples have until Friday to respond to the request. If Walker declines to continue the stay, Prop. 8 supporters can ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a stay while the case is appealed. The appeal could take months and could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jeff Zarrillo, of Burbank, who joined his partner Paul Katami as the other couple in the case, said, "We understand that this decision is only the beginning."

The lead attorneys for the couples were Ted Olson and David Boies, who were on opposite sides of a legal battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore over the results of the 2000 presidential election but joined forces in representing the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Boies joked that if the case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court, "Ted and I have a deal that he's going to get the five justices that voted for him, and I'll get the four that voted for me."

Boies added that the judge in this case made it clear that, "The fundamental right to marry is already set in a handful of Supreme Court precedents."

Olson said the legal team will argue against the stay but declined to guess when or where the case will finally be decided.

Several hundred people marched from San Francisco's Castro District to City Hall Wednesday night to celebrate a federal judge's ruling that California's voter-enacted ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative that banned gay marriage in the state, violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal treatment and due process.

The marchers gathered at Market and Castro streets at about 6 p.m., a police spokesman said, and were led by police escort up Market Street. They reached City Hall at about 7 p.m.

Members of the crowd carried giant rainbow flags and signs that read, "Everyone deserves the right to marry." A truck drove alongside the procession playing the Queen song "We are the Champions" over loudspeakers. Police spokesman Officer Samson Chan said police would continue to monitor the crowd at City Hall.

"So far we've had no issues," he said. "It's more of a celebratory mood."

Proposition 8, approved by California voters as a state constitutional amendment, provided that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Two same-sex couples, including one from Berkeley, opposed the initiative this year in the nation's first federal court trial challenging a state ban on same-sex marriage under the U.S. Constitution. Walker heard evidence in the nonjury trial in January, and closing arguments were presented in June.

Various opponents of same-sex marriage released statements Wednesday decrying the ruling, including Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

"With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman," he said. "This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only

Prop. 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

Others, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Governor

Arnold Schwarzenegger, praised Walker's ruling Wednesday.

"For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves," Schwarzenegger said.

Tears and Champagne followed a federal judge's ruling Wednesday that overturned California's ban on same-sex marriage as locals celebrated in San Francisco's Castro District.

"There was a big 'whoopee'," said Dave Thompson, a bartender at the Twin Peaks Tavern, one of the area's oldest gay bars.

Thompson joined in celebrating with bar patrons because he felt his own marriage to another man has now been "secured," he said. His marriage was first voided in 2004 and invalidated a second time by Proposition 8 in 2008 after he remarried the same man.

"My brother said once we 'got it all figured out in California' he'd come with my brothers, but my family still didn't come to the 2008 reception because of Proposition 8," said Thompson, whose six heterosexual brothers live in Massachusetts.

Jane Fox, a San Francisco resident of 23 years, said she approves of the ruling despite having no interest in marriage.

"I've been married twice to men, twice to women and never want to marry again, but I don't believe queers should be a minority," Fox said. "It should just be a complete non-issue."

Castro District locals still expressed concern that Wednesday's decision would not lead to legal homosexual marriage.

"It's a step in the right direction," said Jim Therriault, who has lived in San Francisco for 34 years. "But the decision still has to go before the Supreme Court and it can still be overturned."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by stevep
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

The Supreme Court will correct this travesty of justice so that the will of the Calif voters is recognized.


Like this comment
Posted by To Stevep
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

I personally am thankful that judges have the power to overturn the will of the voters. Otherwise things such as "separate but equal", Jim Crow laws, and slavery would have been the law of the land decades after the Supreme Court outlawed them.

Sometimes the voters are wrong.


Like this comment
Posted by Doubt It
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

I don't think so Steve:

‎"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians".

Prop 8 supporters had their chance to prove that gay marriage *harms* and they couldn't do it. All they offered was "morality". It wasn't enough here and it won't be enough for the Supreme Court. The "will" of the California voters was ILLEGAL!


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:47 am

the law is the law...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

hmmmmmmmmmmmm...I wonder how many illegals are gonna get married in CA?

tee hee hee, tee hee hee...


Like this comment
Posted by Michele
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

I think this is a great step forward. There is something called "separation between Church and State". The Church was HEAVILY involved in Prop 8, especially OUTSIDE California and all the money they threw at it. And what are the arguments you hear FOR Prop 8? "Because I was taught to believe... Because the Bible says... Because God says...."

Before you start boo-hooing me... I'm NOT an Athiest or non-believer. I simply agree with the notion that religion and the church should not be involved in passing legislature.

Bottom line: Equality for everyone!


Like this comment
Posted by susan
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

The Judge should of excused himself from this case, as he was gay. It is a travesty of justice when Judges do not excuse themselfs from cases that they have an interest in. aLSO IT SEEMS WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY THAT IS NO LONGER FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE. Its the POLITICANS AND JUDGES WHO NOW RUN THE COUNTRY.


Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

@ Michele - you seem to imply there is something wrong with being an atheist, agnostic, or simply non-religious. Just because many people choose to not believe in an invisible sky being or flying spagetti monster does not mean they are in anyway less a participant in the debate or human race.


Like this comment
Posted by sueme
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

Do what you want in the privacy of your bedroom, but don't call it marriage when it is not a man and a woman. Words mean something. Many of us seem to have forgotten this. Make up a new word, call them "unions", whatever, but it is not marriage.


Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

@ Susan - Funny how the Prop 8 proponents did not have an issue with Judge Walker being gay. And, we have a justice system for just this reason where a simple majority can pass laws harmful to a minority and inconsistent with the founding principles enshrined in the Constitution.


Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

@ Sueme - Yes, words have meaning. Words like tyranny, equality, justice, and fairness have much meaning to a minority group harmed by the irrational and hateful meddling into their private lives by a self-righteous, biased, and dare I say bigoted majority.

Gays and Lesbians are not trying to legislate the rights and freedoms you enjoy, why do you feel compelled to define theirs?


Like this comment
Posted by seems simple enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm

What states *should* do is issue civil union licenses to everyone, and have legal rights and privileges attached to those. Because the term "marriage" has religious and moral connotations, marriage licenses could be issued (in addition) by places of worship based on whatever criteria they choose.

That way those who want to protect the concept of marriage can do so without infringing on the legal rights of those who don't meet their criteria...Seems like this might be a compromise satisfying to both sides...
JMO


Like this comment
Posted by Muhahaaha
a resident of Avila
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

"Gays and Lesbians are not trying to legislate the rights and freedoms you enjoy, why do you feel compelled to define theirs?"

Because he/she is a closeted miserable human!


Like this comment
Posted by No on Marriage
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I'm with "seems simple enough" - get rid of marriage as a legal term. Undo marriage for everyone. Legal unions for everyone and you and your church can call it whatever you want.
The fact is that the majority can not control the minority even if you feel it is morally wrong.
I wish the people who are so against legalizing gay marriage would spend all that time and energy helping the heterosexuals who can't figure out how to do marriage correctly. Look at the statistics people! Think about how messed up so many marriages are and how so many straight marriages churn out incredibly unhappy and messed up kids.
Being gay is genetic, just like being black. We are all entitled in this country to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can not legislate who gets married. Like it or not. If we could I certainly would not put sexuality at the top of the list of important qualities. How about stupid people not get married? Or ugly people? Or first cousins? Or fat people? Where will it stop? Will we need folks to take a test first? The fact is marriage is a failure of an institution in this country. A 50% pass rate is nothing to be proud of. And of those 50% I wonder how many are miserable, or GAY but stuck in a straight marriage because they were not recognized as humans?


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

@susan: should Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas therefore recuse himself from any and all affirmative action cases? Judge Walker was appointed to the court by the first President Bush. His sexuality is a strong rumor, but he hasn't addressed the issue himself mainly because it is his own damned business. Just as it is for the thousands of men and women who find their sexuality leads them to members of their own sex. Walker ruled, correctly, that there is nothing in same-sex marriage that has been proven to damage society, but merely to offend the "morals" of the voting public and moral outrage is insufficient ground to deny the rights of a minority in our population.


Like this comment
Posted by Why
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Why do people even care who gets married? People need to stop looking into others lives and take a big long look at their own lives. We live in a Pathetic world...


Like this comment
Posted by To Susan
a resident of California Reflections
on Aug 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Susan-
If we go by your rules then all straight judges should excuse themselves from cases involving a husband and wife because they have a vested interest.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I've known susan for about 7 years and she is a lebanese...in secret!!!

PS "as he was gay"...susan, does this mean that the judge "was" gay but that he is no longer gay? esplain...tee hee hee, eeh eeh eet...


Like this comment
Posted by colette
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm

You'd have thought someone would have determined that the voters should not have a say so on this long before millions of dollars were spent bringing this proposition to the ballot. If this was the case, why bother voting on it? What a waste of money that California does not have.


Like this comment
Posted by stevep
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

You're seeing evidence as to why Republicans have always been against judges who tend to legislate from the bench. It usurps the will of the people and undermines the Constitution, but that is no obstacle for flaming liberals.
Another poster said: 'We live in a Pathetic world......' you sure got that right. People that keep calling themselves an oppressed minority when they made an unhealthy lifestyle choice.
What's that? It's not a choice.....it's a genetic defect. Instead of sepnding some much money on lawyers use it to find a cure.
Speaking of money, that's what this is really all about.....you can have civil unions, but they want money and benefits like real married couples, essentially forcing their lifestyle of everyone else that does not view perversion as mainstream.
The Supremes will end this folly next year, but by then many more will have died of AIDS needlessly.


Like this comment
Posted by Stevep is sick
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Steve P,
How is it that in this day and age there are still such bigoted, ignorant people like you? I'm sad for you, that you are so insecure with yourself that you must hate and control others.
We must be tolerant of all citizens in this country. Gay people pay taxes just like you do and it is imperative that their rights are protected. The supreme court already recognizes marriage as a fundamental right and you will have to prove that a gay marriage harms you in some way in order to prevent everyone from having access. I welcome some proof from you SteveP that gay marriage harms you.
You can keep spewing your hate because you have the fundamental right to freedom of speech and although I personally think you are the scum of the Earth I would support your freedom of speech anyway. Why? Because this country would not be what it is if we had no tolerance for one another. Your words can not harm me so go for it! Your words sicken me and I pray you have no children to pass this hate onto but you do have the right to say whatever you want.
The founders of our Country put the three branches of government in place so it would work just the way it did with Prop 8. The tyranny of the majority cannot be imposed on a minority. The judge had no choice to overturn Prop 8 as there is NO EVIDENCE at all that traditional marriages are being harmed by gay marriages. Just as traditional marriages are not harmed by interracial marriages. Those of you who are so concerned about protecting "family" should try to embrace all families. As another poster noted with a 50% divorce rate it seems all families need a little bit of help. Being gay is not a genetic defect and to say that is just uneducated and offensive.


Like this comment
Posted by Brad
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm

The comments of the conservatives here crack me up.

You are fighting to deny someone a right you have. Shame on you. Even when it is determined to be a constitutional right, it will not harm you, and yet you still whine and moan. This is about freedom.

Thankfully, despite your whining, its only a matter of time before freedom extends to homosexuals. The country is increasingly tolerant every year; more and more people have a friend or a family member who is gay and can see what conservative bigotry does to them.

Eventually, gay marriage will be recognized in every state. I find it disgusting that you are so quick to wave a flag in the name of freedom only to turn around and deny it to others because they aren't like you.




Like this comment
Posted by HHR
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2010 at 7:20 am

Well said, "Stevep is sick". That Steve guy needs some counseling.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 6, 2010 at 7:42 am

steffanie p is crack-up...tee hee hee, eeh eeh eet...


Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

It does not really matter at all as long as they do not figure out how to breed and make more homosexuals. Until then they will just remain "packers".


Like this comment
Posted by to Kevin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

^^^ The Troglodyte has spoken


Like this comment
Posted by David Cannon
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

David Cannon is a registered user.

Oh my, that nasty constitution got in the way again. Our founding fathers were pretty impressive thinkers. Thanks guys.


Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

SteveP said: "Republicans have always been against judges who tend to legislate from the bench."

LOL!! Give me a break!! Republicans are only against judges that don't legislate the way THEY want them to legislate!

Two recent examples that had Republicans jumping for joy: The SCOTUS decision in favor of Citizens United that shelved any kind of political campaign reform and allowed corporations, both domestic and foreign-owned, unlimited funding/influence in political campaigns.

The Federal court decision to lift the off-shore drilling moratorium for the 30-odd new rigs being built before the specific cause was determined for the gulf disaster, before real safety precautions could be implemented and definitely before anyone had an idea of how to address a disaster the magnitude of that in the Gulf. Oh yeah, and the judge in this case reported stock holdings in at least nine companies in the oil and gas industry, including Transocean and Haliburton which were directly involved in the Gulf oil disaster.

Yup! Gotta love those self-righteous Republicans!


Like this comment
Posted by Love it!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Stevep, Judge Walker was first appointed to the federal bench by Reagan in '87. You should try to be more informed before you start typing.
I love the Constitution. The "tyranny" of the judicial has nothing on the tyranny of the majority!
No on 8!


Like this comment
Posted by Packers?
a resident of Avila
on Aug 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Kevin,
Do you really think that homosexuals breed other homosexuals? How is it then that so many, the majority of, homosexuals have heterosexual parents?


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2010 at 7:58 am

Stevep, how do you connect this issue to "many more" dying "needlessly" of AIDS? If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, and it becomes a part of their culture to openly marry, which perhaps leads to a culture that engages more in monogamy...wouldn't that cut *down* on the spread of AIDS? I realize that marriage does not ensure monogamy, but when you *can't* marry; when you fear openly being with a member of the opposite sex, doesn't it make sense that you'd be more likely to sleep around rather than commit?


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2010 at 7:59 am

Sorry, correction: "When you fear openly being with a member of the SAME sex".


Like this comment
Posted by why the H8???
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm

The only one to blame for all the gays in America are the straight people who keep having gay and lesbian children.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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