Dueling Letters to the Supreme Court: This Week in Prop 8 for Jan 31

Uploaded by stop8org on 31.01.2011

Dueling arguments over Prop 8's progress to the Supreme Court, a lot of bad news in Wyoming,
marriage support continues to climb in battleground states, and a cliffhanger with cookies in
I'm Matt Baume with Stop 8 dot org, and welcome to this week in Proposition 8 for Monday,
January 31, 2011.
Ted Olson, a lead attorney on the case against Prop 8, sent a letter to the California Supreme
Court this week, explaining why, in his opinion, the court shouldn't get involved in the case.
His position boils down essentially to "none of your business," arguing that this is a
matter for federal, not state, courts.
The case is stuck in a holding pattern right now, with everyone trying to figure out whether
the anti-gay proponents of Proposition 8 can intervene and take the place of Attorney General
Kamala Harris in defending Proposition 8.
If the California Supreme Court agrees with Ted Olson and doesn't intervene, then the
case would be decided quickly and, most likely, against Proposition 8. From there, it would
move to the United State Supreme Court.
But if the California Supreme Court does intervene, it would be mean lengthy delays, possibly
over a year, and a win for the gay couples would be far less predictable. That's why
Ted Olson wants the State Supreme Court to stay out of it.
Also filing letters were the proponents of Prop 8. They want the Supreme Court to intervene.
And the city and county of San Francisco took a novel in-betweeny position, arguing that
if the court takes the case, it should reformulate its approach in a way that is more favorable
to the plaintiffs.
The California Supreme Court will rule on the matter sometime in the next few months.
But in the mean time, this week's comment bait asks, should they get involved?
Ted Olson says no, the question of who defends a ballot proposition is spelled out in Article
Three of the U S Constitution, and therefore a state court cannot rule on the matter.
The proponents of Prop 8 say yes, California Court Rules say that the Supreme Court can
intervene when there is no controlling precedent.
And San Francisco says maybe, but if the court does intervene, they should consider that
no one would be hurt if Prop 8 was overturned.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Meanwhile, in Wyoming, there was disappointing progress on one of several bills jostling
for passage that would limit marriage. One, which would allow voters to nullify the marriage
of any gay couple the moment they enter the state, passed both the house and senate this
But there's some room for hope. Wyoming governor Matt Mead expressed concern about the bill,
saying, "we do not want to, as a state, limit access to our court system."
The bill is also opposed by Senator Chris Rothfuss, a Democrat from Laramie. Yes, THAT
There's also encouraging news this week.
The Human Rights Campaign released a new report showing that support continues to grow in
every state. And seventeen states show majority support for equal marriage, including battleground
states like Maryland, Hawaii, New York, and Rhode Island.
In Hawaii, a civil union bill is sailing through the legislature towards a supportive governor,
Democrat Neil Abercrombie. And in Maryland, legislators introduced an equal marriage bill
this week, with hearings scheduled for February 8th.
Iowa remains a cliffhanger. This week a Republican attempt to force a vote on gay couples' marriages
was defeated by Democrats, and although the measure is expected to pass the House, Majority
Leader Mike Gronstal has promised to block it in the Senate.
A hearing on the bill last week was attended by organizations on both sides of the debate,
including an anti-gay group called The Family Leader. That organization brought cookies
to share with gay families, claiming that by doing so, they were "tangibly showing love
to people who struggle with homosexuality."
So to sum up, what they're saying is, no, you can't visit your husband in the hospital.
If you get divorced, you can't share custody of your kids. If one of you dies, you'll lose
your house. And if your wife is from another country, she'll be deported. But here. Have
a cookie.
Worse yet, photos from the event show that the cookies were store-bought.
A public hearing on the Iowa legislation is scheduled for Monday, January 31st, at 6:30
pm in the statehouse. You can follow along with One Iowa at twitter dot com slash oneiowa.
This week's action item focuses on Maryland, where legislators are waiting to hear from
constituents on the The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.
You can help. Visit MarylandPop.org. It's a new tool developed by FriendFactor.org,
designed for straight people who want to help their gay friends.
If you live in Maryland, the site will allow you to ask your legislator point-blank, "Do
you support my gay friends' freedom to marry?"
And if you don't live in Maryland, the site will help you spread the news online, to find
Marylanders who can help. We be checking in with the Friend Factor gang next week to find
out how their efforts in Maryland are going.
In the mean time, you can watch our previous episodes to get all caught up, or you can
subscribe to get new episodes as they come out. We'll see you next week.