It‚Äôs hard to image: on May 30, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that lesbians and gays had the fundamental constitutional right to marry. And marry they did! But on May 26, 2009, the same high court ruled to uphold Prop 8, the ballot initiative that stripped away that right ‚Äď though the court left legally intact about 18,000 same sex marriages. The next day, on May 27, 2009, the new group American Foundation for Equal Rights announced they were challenging the constitutionality of Prop 8 in federal court. (See the case timeline here.) AFER won in District Court in August 2010 ‚Äď and now the proponents of Prop 8 are seeking to have the ruling overturned because Judge Walker is gay. That case will be heard June 14 in San Francisco.
The federal case is now in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is waiting to hear from the California Supreme Court on whether the state court thinks the Prop 8 proponents should have standing to defend the initiative in federal court since the governor and attorney general refuse to do so. No one has any idea when the state court might respond.
Meanwhile AFER points out that Judge Walker said ‚Äúthat every moment that discrimination remains on the books, it cases grave harm to gay and lesbian Americans who are being treated as second-class citizens.‚ÄĚ AFER‚Äôs Countdown clock registers 290 days since Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional.
Many LGBTs are getting inpatient, especially on the heels of a Gallup poll released Friday, May 20, saying: ‚ÄúFor the first time in Gallup’s tracking of the issue, a majority of Americans (53%) believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. The increase since last year came exclusively among political independents and Democrats. Republicans’ views did not change.‚ÄĚ
For the next two weeks, Equality California and its coalition partners are holding town hall meetings to decide whether or not the LGBT community thinks an initiative to repeal Prop 8 should be put on the 2012 ballot. The first town hall was held in San Francisco on May 17. The next is Sunday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the West Hollywood Auditorium
Here‚Äôs the list of times and places for the town hall meetings in the LA area:
West Hollywood: West Hollywood Auditorium, 647 San Vicente, West Hollywood 90069 ‚Ä®Sunday, May 22, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Long Beach: Gay & Lesbian Community Center, 2017 E. Fourth St., Long Beach 90814‚Ä®Monday, May 23, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Los Angeles: Church of the Epiphany, 2808 Altura St., Los Angeles, 90031‚Ä®Thursday, June 02, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Also to take EQCA‚Äôs survey, please visit: www.eqca.org/Prop8survey