Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8, Should It Pass
amothtoaflame
Legal Papers Claim Initiative Procedure Cannot Be Used To Undermine the Constitution's Core Commitment To Equality For Everyone

SAN FRANCISCO – The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group – lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first.

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.

"If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw – it removes a protected constitutional right – here, the right to marry – not from all Californians, but just from one group of us," said Jenny Pizer, a staff attorney with Lambda Legal. "That's too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters."

"A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities. Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution," added Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

The groups filed the lawsuit today in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California and 6 same-sex couples who did not marry before Tuesday's election but would like to be able to marry now.

The groups filed a writ petition in the California Supreme Court before the elections presenting similar arguments because they believed the initiative should not have appeared on the ballot, but the court dismissed that petition without addressing its merits. That earlier order is not precedent here.

"Historically, courts are reluctant to get involved in disputes if they can avoid doing so," said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of NCLR. "It is not uncommon for the court to wait to see what happens at the polls before considering these legal arguments. However, now that Proposition 8 may pass, the courts will have to weigh in and we believe they will agree that Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place."

This would not be the first time the court has struck down an improper voter initiative. In 1990, the court stuck down an initiative that would have added a provision to the California Constitution stating that the "Constitution shall not be construed by the courts to afford greater rights to criminal defendants than those afforded by the Constitution of the United States." That measure was invalid because it improperly attempted to strip California's courts of their role as independent interpreters of the state's constitution.

In a statement issued earlier today, the groups stated their conviction, which is shared by the California Attorney General, that the state must continue to honor the marriages of the 18,000 lesbian and gay couples who have already married in California.

A copy of the statement is available at: www.aclu.org/lgbt/relationships/37701prs20081105.html.

A copy of the writ petition filed today is available at: www.aclu.org/lgbt/relationships/37709lgl20081105.html.

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.

(no subject)
amothtoaflame
Taking a quick break from the polls for lunch and to go vote.

At least 90% of people driving by are supportive.

Getting flipped off by little old ladies is hilarious. 3 so far.

Been called faggit 4 times. I also find this extremely funny. I don't know why.

If you have the time I recommend getting out there and showing support for whatever you believe in.

Only Partially a Political Post
amothtoaflame
If you do decide to go out and voice your support for or against any political issue, bring a friend. Some of these issues are really bringing out the worst in people, so safety in numbers, just in case.

Remember that the law now requires your headlights to be on when your wipers are.

Be extra careful if you are on two wheels when it's wet (better yet, take a car or public transit). On Saturday Kaellie, Martin and I witnessed a scooter wipe out on the Muni tracks. He probably only bruised his ribs and scraped up his knee, thanks to the fact that he was wearing a full face helmet. If it had been a 1/2 or 3/4 helmet the right half of his face would have been scraped off and his jaw broken or dislocated (if he had been wearing no helmet he would have fractured his orbital socket too). He should have been wearing an armored jacket, pants and boots, he would have saved himself from the road rash. Sure it's expensive, but so is reconstructive surgery.

Take care of yourselves.

Clarification
amothtoaflame
If you want to retain the existing rights for homosexuals to marry Vote NO

If you want to eliminate rights of homosexuals to marry vote yes.

The misinformation is being intentionally spread by some in the anti-gay marriage camp, causing wrong way voting.

Please tell everyone you know to vote NO on discrimination. It is unfair and wrong to eliminate fundamental rights.

I'll be working outside the polls in Sonoma County to help make sure that voters are aware. If you have any free time on Tuesday, the No on 8 campaign could still use help.

Go here http://www.noonprop8.com/action/field-offices to get in touch with the field office nearest you. They also have lots of No on 8 lawn and window signs for free if you'd like to show your support that way.

I'm going around today posting signs wherever I can do so legally. If you know anyone in Sonoma County who might want a sign but has not been able to get one, let me know and I will deliver.

(no subject)
amothtoaflame
It's late and I can't sleep and I just finished re-reading Nigger - the autobiography of Dick Gregory - and it occurs to me...maybe this is the first time a group is fighting for expanded rights and segregation.

I'm making my case for the right not to marry someone of the opposite gender and still enjoy the benefits of marriage.

* * * * *

I wonder about the kids born in the 2000's who will have always lived in a world where somewhere in the country gay marriage was legal. And where the internet provides everyone the chance to hear new ideas. And where, for as long as they can remember, any Christian really can run for President. And maybe before 2025 they'll look around and say, "Isn't it weird that gay people can't be married everywhere in the country?" And with them outnumbering the old folks who still think that their hetero marriage is diminished if homos can have one too, the constitutions are rewritten for inclusivity. And their kids will grow up and say "Isn't it weird that we care more about someone's religion than their integrity?" And then they will outnumber...

And pedophilia will still be illegal.

(no subject)
amothtoaflame
Kaellie and I are legally married.

My great-uncle has a new kidney.

Life is pretty good.

Hate
amothtoaflame
Last week Anna and Jen came by and planted a No on 8 sign in my yard.

Yesterday someone stole it in broad daylight (I did expect it to be stolen, but at night when our many very nosy neighbors were off guard).

Kaellie replaced it with a sign that reads:

Notice:
Due to the Unlawful, Un-Christian, and Un-American
Vandalism/ Theft of our private property
(the No on Prop 8 Sign that was posted here)
we are no longer celebrating Halloween 2008.
You may thank your close-minded, bigoted neighbors.
(Hopefully they have candy for you.)
VOTE NO ON PROP 8

I think tomorrow I'm going to post a bunch more...Hate is not a Family Value...Thou Shalt Not Steal...and all the relavent rebuttals for the Yes on 8 campain lies about teaching the homosexual lifestyle in school and churches losing tax exempt status.

If you have anything clever to add, please do.

We've spent the last many years doing it up big for the neighborhood on Halloween, so we're sort of out of the events loop. How is Castro for Halloween? I had stopped going after the spectators got a little too rough. I finally have a Wednesday Addams dress, and I think it oughtn't go to waste. I also made a Marie Antoinette doll that I'm rather proud of.

(no subject)
amothtoaflame
9 days till we get our marriage licence, 13 days until we are married.

Egad!

The reception is going to be at Paradise Beach Park in Tiburon on October 25th, if you'd like to come, but haven't received the Evite, it's because I don't have your email. It's going to be very casual, BBQ and whatnot, no gifts. Food or beverage additions admired and not required.

On a related note...if you are not yet registered to vote DO IT NOW! Make sure that you are registered for your own address so that you can make it to your local poling place.

Why is this relevant?

No on Prop 8, that's why.

Because I would like to stay legally married, thank you.

Also, you must be registered to vote against McCain/Palin. Seriously. McCain is not very healthy and Palin is evil, stupid and crazy. If you don't know why then I will gladly tell you at length, but rather than getting all bothered about it at my college library (where I am typing this currently) I will leave you with this link to one of Kaellie's entries http://sexualjesus.livejournal.com/118048.html. If you missed the VP debate this will cover it for you. I wish that Tina Fey's portrayal on SNL were an exaggeration.

(no subject)
amothtoaflame
Had a serendipitous evening. I'm not enough of a writer to put it down well, I think it's enough to say that sometimes it's really satisfying to go with your instincts. Kaellie and I had a beautiful interaction tonight with a near stranger in a resauraunt. What she calls a Celestine moment (a la The Celestine Prophesy), which esentially means that sometimes things happen for a reason, and a life lesson can come from an apparent coincidence. It was lovely.

* * *

Being a bum has it's upside. After four and a half years, the library renovations have an end in sight. All I have to do is buy screws and I will have everything set to build the bench into the closet. I have plans, on printer paper unfortunately, so they aren't official. Tomorrow I may transfer them onto a paper towel, since I have neither bar napkins nor paper coasters.

I have a coupon for $25 stump removal which means that I could conceivably chop down some of the many apple trees in the backyard (you should really never throw apple cores out in the back yard and expect them to go away) and not be tripping over their corpses for the next 10 years. As long as each cluster is one stump I should be good, if not well...there are clumps of two, four, five and six trees, thats a lot of $25s.

A dump run is scheduled for tomorrow. Hurrah. Much like apples, garbage put in the backyard never goes away either...funny that.

I may paint the dog's room next week, depends on whether we can pick colors. We have agreed that it should certainly not be the present shade (baby poop brown) but what color it should be is more elusive.

Alas, a lack of $20,000 means that the bathrooms and the kitchen remain in stasis. Kaellie is supposed to win the lottery in the next month though, so those should be taken care of in no time. I wonder if it would be inappropriate, in a drought, to install a hot tub in place of a bath tub?

The Job Hunt
amothtoaflame
Looking for work is always a kick. Sometimes in the pants, sometimes in the teeth.

Since I'm still really just beginning my search I still have a sense of humor about it, refraining with great fortitude the temptation to tell a prospective employer to go fuck themselves when they want me to perform a high level management job for minimum wage (seriously, when your district manager is making $8.00 per hour, what are the entry level employees making?).

My greatest prospect right now (greatest because they actually responded to my application) is for a place that calls itself Love Journey Tantra. They have a website, it's pink and purple. They might turn out to be the biggest hippies in Sebastopol (they asked for my birth information so they could do my astrological chart). But they might be interested in paying me what I'm worth and I'm very positive on that.

Right now though, I work in a Shop. Even sitting at the computer I get grease under my nails. I work with Guys, they ride dirt bikes and race things and own guns and their idea of a balanced breakfast is Tums with their chili cheese fries.

I think the Tantra people might be spritually and morally against chili cheese fries.

I still hope that I get the job though. I think an 8 mile commute is really sexy (or is that Tantric?) and I'm a sucker for anyplace I can wear jeans to work.

Just to make sure, I plan to ask whether they have ever refered to anyone as a mundane or a muggle. If the answer is yes, I'll hit them with a brick and run.

?

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