Though it might appear that the federal challenge to the constitutionality of Prop 8 is on hiatus because of the dearth of news stories Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the American Foundation for Equal Rights,Ã‚Â sponsors of the challenge, have nonetheless been busy.
Ted Olson and David Boies, attorneys for the plaintiffs, appeared on Bill Moyers Journal and AFER communications director Yusef Robb (not pictured) and senior project director Adam Umhoefer (pictured here second from the left) attended a LA Press Club panel discussion last ThursdayÃ‚Â on the trial with The AdvocateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Andrew Harmon (left), Variety managing editor and blogger at wilshireandwashington.com (second from right) and journalism professor and KPCC radio contributor Jon Beaupre (right) and me.
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been some news Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Judge Vaugh WalkerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s court issued a press release saying closing arguments will not be televised. Ã‚Â But most of the work has been behind the scenes with a flurry of motions about new discovery requests and other legal filings Ã¢â‚¬â€œ all due Saturday. That included a 294-page summary filed by Olson and Boies spelling out how the evidence they presented in the three-week case proves that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.
In a press release announcing the filing, AFER Board President Chad Griffin said:
“This 294-page filing is only a summary of the overwhelming evidence against Proposition 8. The evidence proves beyond a doubt that Proposition 8, which separates Americans into unequal groups, violates the U.S. Constitution and causes incredible harm to individuals and our nation as a whole.”
Walker is now analyzing all of the briefs as well as all of the evidence and testimony submitted and presented at trial, after which he will set a date for closing arguments.
Olson and Boies, who represent Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo and Kris Perry & Sandy Stier Ã¢â‚¬â€œ denied the right to marry because of Prop 8 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ said they proved that, in essence:
1) Ã‚Â Prop. 8 does irreparable harm to Americans
2) Ã‚Â Marriage has shed discriminatory restrictions over time
3) Ã‚Â Gay men and lesbians are entitled to the full protection of the 14th Amendment
4) Ã‚Â There is no good reason for Prop. 8Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s denial of fundamental civil rights
The AFER filing and the amicus briefs point out that Prop 8:
- Violates the Due Process Clause by depriving Americans of fundamental rights
- Violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
- Singles out gays and lesbians for a disfavored legal status, thereby creating a category of “second-classÃ‚Â citizens”
- Discriminates on the basis of gender
- Discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation
“More than 30 years ago, the United States Supreme Court recognized that marriage is one of the basic rights of man,” the suit against Prop. 8 states, referring to the CourtÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down bans on interracial marriage.
Under Proposition 8, the State of California government unconstitutionally categorizes Americans into four separate and unequal groups:
- Those will full marriage rights
- Those with no marriage rights
- Those who married between May 2008 and November 2008 whose current marriages are recognized, but who cannot remarry if divorced or widowed
- Those who can marry in another state and petition California for recognition of their marriages