Upon today’s news that the Ninth Circuit has reaffirmed California’s Prop 8 unconstitutional, a flurry of responses from LGBT rights groups have come. Here’s a sampling.
NEW YORK â€“ Today, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that found that Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment that stripped the freedom to marry away from gay and lesbian couples in California, violates the U.S. Constitution.
Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
â€œTodayâ€™s powerful court ruling striking down the infamous Prop 8 affirms basic American values and helps tear down a discriminatory barrier to marriage that benefits no one while making it harder for people to take care of their loved ones. The Ninth Circuit rightly held that a state simply may not take a group of people and shove them outside the law, least of all when it comes to something as important as the commitment and security of marriage. We salute the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought this challenge to Prop 8.
â€œThis monumental appellate decision restores California to the growing list of states and countries that have ended exclusion from marriage, and will further accelerate the surging nationwide majority for marriage. As this and other important challenges to marriage discrimination move through the courts around the country, Freedom to Marry calls on all Americans to join us in ensuring that together we make as strong a case in the court of public opinion as our legal advocates are making in the courts of law. By growing the majority for marriage, winning more states, and tackling federal discrimination â€“ Freedom to Marryâ€™s â€˜Roadmap to Victoryâ€™ â€“ we maximize our chances of winning when one case or another finally reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.â€
Mayors for the Freedom to Marry
LOS ANGELES â€“ Today,Â Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego, and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, who are allÂ Chairs ofÂ Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, the bipartisan group of more than 130 mayors from across the nation who have pledged their support for ending marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, released the following statement:
â€œAs Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, we know how important marriage is to our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation.Â When committed couples are able to pledge their love to one another and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage, our communities flourish and our cities are more competitive. Todayâ€™s decision by the 9th Circuit reaffirms that the American Dream is possible for everyone and brings us one step closer to ending marriage discrimination once and for all.Â We look forward to a day when all of our citizens will be able to share fairly and equally in the freedom to marry.â€
Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, added:
â€œAmericaâ€™s mayors understand why marriage matters â€“ to loving and committed couples, to their families, to communities navigating tough economic times.Â Todayâ€™s important court ruling affirms basic American values, and helps tear down a discriminatory barrier to marriage that benefits no one and make it harder for people to take care of their loved ones.â€
Los Angeles, CA, February 7, 2012 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today applauded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision affirming the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8.
“Today’s historic decision reflects the growing support for marriage equality among a majority of Americans who believe all couples should have the same opportunity to take care of and be responsible for each other,” said GLAAD’s Acting President Mike Thompson. “Though the road to securing full equality for every American remains long, we are deeply encouraged by today’s ruling.”
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today praised the historic decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming the August 2010 conclusion of U.S. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) that the amendment to the California Constitution barring marriage for same-sex couples, adopted in November 2008 as Proposition 8, violates the U.S. Constitution. Â In a 2-1 decision authored by Judge Reinhardt, the court agreed that Proposition 8’s only purpose in denying gay and lesbian Californians the freedom to marry was anti-gay animus, something the Constitution does not permit.
“Today’s decision affirms what we all know to be true – our Constitution protects the basic civil rights of all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. Â “Proposition 8 does nothing to strengthen or protect any marriage. Â Instead, it singles out thousands of loving California families for different treatment, simply because they are gay and lesbian couples. Â We applaud the Ninth Circuit for recognizing that our Constitution cannot tolerate such egregious discrimination.”
“We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their years of work leading to today’s decision. Â This is not the end of the road, for this case or for the larger struggle for marriage equality. Â We must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”
In response to a 2008 decision by the California Supreme Court ending marriage discrimination in the state, anti-equality forces succeeded in placing a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Despite over 18,000 same-sex couples having married, California voters adopted the amendment, known as Proposition 8. After the California Supreme Court determined in 2009 that the adoption of Prop 8 did not itself violate the California Constitution, two plaintiff couples — Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo – filed suit against the State of California in federal court, represented by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The proponents of Prop 8 intervened in the case to defend the constitutionality of the amendment. Judge Walker held a historic trial in January, in which the plaintiffs presented substantial testimony and evidence to show that Prop 8’s only purpose is to discriminate against same-sex couples. Â His historic decision in August 2010 was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The proponents of Prop 8 are now likely to appeal this decision, either to be considered by a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit (referred to as an en banc rehearing) or for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Washington, DCÂ – (Feb. 7, 2012) â€“ Family Equality Council, the national organization that connects, supports and represents the one million families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), today issued a statement following the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold the ruling in Perry V. Brown â€“ theÂ Â federal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8.Â The Federal Appeals Court ruled that Californiaâ€™s 2008 amendment banning same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional.
â€œTodayâ€™s decision heartens and gives hope to the 15,698 loving couples in California who are raising more than 30,000 children,â€ said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.
â€œThey, like all Americans, understand that while love makes a family, there is no denying that marriage strengthens it,â€ said Chrisler. Â â€œThese parents have raised their children to love their country, support their friends and treat their neighbors with respect.Â Â Now they only ask for the fundamental American freedom to demonstrate their love and commitment to their family through marriage.Â We join them in looking forward to the day when we can win the freedom to marry for them and all Americans.â€
This weekend, Family Equality Council will celebrate this step forward on the journey toward theÂ freedom to marry and family equality for all when it honors Chad Griffin and other LGBT family advocates at the 2012 Los Angeles Awards Dinner. (Â www.familyequality.org/
Griffin is Co-founder and Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights – the group behind the effort to overturn Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8.
Los Angeles — After three years of Prop 8 weaving its way through the federal and California court system, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Judge Walker’s August 2010 ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Marriage equality proponents throughout the state, including Courage Campaign members who worked valiantly to overturn Prop 8, cheered the historic decision.
“The 9th Circuit did what it must: it ruled that Judge Walker is competent, not somehow diminished for being gay and it ruled that the Constitution of the United States indeed provides equal protection and due process to all Americans, not just some Americans,” said Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, a progressive, grassroots online organization with more than 750,000 members around the country. “Having live-blogged every piece of this trial, especially in Judge Walker’s courtroom two years ago, it became patently clear that the fringe opponents of equality would never prevail. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the dynamic duo of attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and their colleagues at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) who took to heart that real people are hurt by Prop 8 and its evil cousins across the nation. The time for waiting has ended.”
The Courage Campaign has played a leading role in informing and organizing around the entire Prop 8 trial. The organization collected nearly 140,000 signatures in support of televising the trial — the first time the U.S. Supreme Court ever cited such an online effort in an opinion. Upon learning that the historic trial would not be televised, Jacobs live-blogged daily from the courthouse and documented every important motion and court ruling on Prop 8 Tour Tracker (www.Prop8TrialTracker.com), a project of the Courage Campaign Institute. Over the course of almost three years, the widely-read blog has logged in over four million views and 150,000 comments. It is also the #1 Google result for “Prop 8 trial.”
Courage Campaignâ€™s Testimony: Equality on Trial project staged re-enactments of the trial, including many from the general public. It was designed to educate the public on what happened in the courtroom, more vital now since the tapes have been forever sealed from public view.Â Two video re-enactments were used as evidence in federal court by the legal team from AFER. The first video was staged with Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei (playing Kristin Perry, the plaintiff in Perry v. Brown) and actor Josh Lucas.
When the California Supreme Court decided it would take six months to offer its advice to the 9th Circuit, thus adding nearly a year to the process, the Courage Campaign asked members to submit their stories on what the delay meant to them and their families. Three hundred stories came in, including one from Ed Watson and Derence Kernek in Palm Springs, a couple for over 40 years. Ed had Alzheimerâ€™s and his health was quickly deteriorating. A video of their story prompted a front page Los Angeles Times story.Â Ironically, Ed died on the eve of the last Prop 8 hearing in the 9th Circuit.
“The decision made by the 9th Circuit, to be honest, is a bittersweet one for me,” said Mr. Kernek, who still lives in Palm Springs. “I know that my partner of 41 years, Ed, would’ve been thrilled to have heard the news. He missed it by less than two months because he passed away in December. Even as he took his last dying breaths, Ed spoke of wanting to marry me. Even though he did not get his last wish, I am heartened to know that other gay couples who love each other will be able to take sacred vows and fully commit their lives to one another. And that makes it a glorious day for gay people in California.”
(Washington, D.C.)Â Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis released the following statement regarding today’s ruling on Proposition 8 by the Ninth Circuit:
“SLDN welcomes today’s important ruling by the Ninth Circuit affirming the lower court decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional; indeed, fairness and equality have carried the day. This victory strengthens our case on behalf of married gay and lesbian service members and veterans as we seek to gain equal recognition, support, and benefits for them and their families. Â This is an historic win for supporters of full equality in the military and in our country,” said Sarvis.
Transgender Law Center Celebrates Appeals Court Ruling Striking Down
Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the Perry
v. Brown case holding that Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8, which
restricted marriage in the state to different-sex couples, is
unconstitutional. The appeals court also squarely rejected the
argument made by Prop 8â€™s sponsors that the trial court judge who
issued the initial decision finding Prop 8 unconstitutional should
have been required to recuse himself from the case because he is gay
and in a long-term relationship.
Statement by Transgender Law Center Executive Director Masen Davis:
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled that today the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed that under our
constitution, all loving couples must be allowed to marry, regardless
of the gender of either partner. The state should not be in the
business of policing who can marry based on gender. Iâ€™m optimistic
that full equality for all our families is on the horizon.â€
NOM Condemns Ninth Circuit Ruling Finding Prop 8 Unconstitutional, Imperiling the Marriage Laws of 43 states
Group will support efforts to take the issue to the US Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C.Â â€” â€œAs sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,â€ said Brian Brown, NOMâ€™s president. â€œWe have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walkerâ€™s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.â€
San Francisco federal court judge Vaughn Walker ruled in 2010 that Proposition 8 violates the 14th amendment of the US Constitution. If allowed to stand, the ruling could invalidate the marriage laws of 43 states that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The case is widely expected to go to the US Supreme Court for resolution.
In their 2-1 split decision, the Ninth Circuit opinion [PDF] written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, held that:
â€¢ The proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal standing to appeal the lower courtâ€™s ruling, as suggested by an earlier ruling of the California Supreme Court;
â€¢ Judge Vaughn Walker did not have a duty to disclose that he was in a long-term committed homosexual relationship throughout the time he was hearing and deciding the case;
â€¢ The US Supreme Court ruling in Baker v Nelson, which found there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage, does not preclude this challenge to Proposition 8;
â€¢ Laws enacted that particularly impact same-sex couples are subject to â€œheightened scrutinyâ€ legal analysis;
â€¢ Under a heightened scrutiny analysis, Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendmentâ€™s equal protection clause and is thus unconstitutional.
â€œNever before has a federal appeals court â€“ or any federal court for that matter â€“ found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,â€ said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM. â€œThe Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of todayâ€™s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Todayâ€™s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.â€
Eastman is the founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Claremont Institute and is a constitutional law professor and former Dean at Chapman University School of Law. A former US Supreme Court Clerk, Eastman has participated in over 60 cases before the US Supreme Court.
Image of San Francisco march today, by Will Kane via Twitter.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’
During a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Donald Trump appeared to confuse former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush with his brother, former President George W. Bush, while bragging to supporters how he beat him.
Jeb Bush, who was largely considered to be the default Republican Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election when he launched his campaign, dropped out in February of 2016 after the South Carolina primary.
“When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” Trump said, before claiming he was “up by about 50 points” over Bush. “They thought Bush because Bush was supposedly a military person.”
“You know what he was…He got us into the Middle East,” Trump claimed, wrongly. “How did that work out?”
“But they also thought that Bush might win. Jeb. Remember Jeb? He used the word ‘Jeb,’ he didn’t use the word ‘Bush,’ I said, ‘You mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ and then they immediately started using the name Bush,” Trump claimed.
The ex-president went on to continue denigrating Jeb Bush, accusing him of bringing his mother to campaign with him.
“Remember,” Trump said, “he brought his mother, his wonderful mother who’s 94 years old and it was pouring and they’re wheeling her around and it’s raining and horrible. I said, ‘Who would do that your mother, 94 years old. How desperate are you to win?”
Media Matters’ Craig Harrington, commenting on Trump’s latest gaffe, observed: “In the past two weeks, Donald Trump has:
– Warned that Joe Biden might start ‘World War 2’
– Confused his 2016 election opponent (Hillary Clinton) with former President Barack Obama
– Confused his 2016 primary opponent (Jeb Bush) with former President George W. Bush.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Trump: When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win… They thought Bush because he was supposedly a military person. He got us into the Middle East pic.twitter.com/lT8OVvg76H
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 25, 2023
Fulton County Judge in Trump Case Orders Jurors’ Identities and Images Must Be Protected
The Fulton County Superior Court judge presiding over Georgia’s RICO, conspiracy, and election interference case against Donald Trump on Monday afternoon ordered the identities and images of all jurors and prospective jurors to remain secret, ordering they may only be referred to by a number.
“No person shall videotape, photograph, draw in a realistic or otherwise identifiable manner, or otherwise record images, statements, or conversations of jurors/prospective jurors in any manner” that would violate a Superior Court rule, Judge Scott McAfee ordered, “except that the jury foreperson’s announcement of the verdict or questions to the judge may be audio recorded.”
“Jurors or prospective jurors shall be identified by number only in court filings or in open court,” he added.
Judge McAfee also ordered no juror’s or prospective juror’s identity, “including names, addresses, telephone numbers, or identifying employment information” may be revealed.
MSNBC’s Katie Phang posted the order, and added: “Another important part of the Order: no responses from juror questionnaires or notes about jury selection shall be disclosed, unless permitted by the Court.”
Judge McAfee’s order comes after Donald Trump’s weekend of attacks on his former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. Trump strongly suggested he should be executed for treason. Trump also strongly suggested he would target Comcast, NBC News, and MSNBC if he wins the 2024 presidential election.
Responding to the news, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan observed, “We have just normalized the fact that the former president, and GOP presidential frontrunner, is basically a mob boss.”
‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did
During a photo shoot at a South Carolina gun shop, Donald Trump posed with and then said he wanted to buy a Glock, asking if it is “a good gun.”
Some say it might be illegal to sell a gun to anyone under criminal indictment, and if he took the gun with him that too might be illegal. It was not clear if, despite saying he would, he actually bought the firearm. The Trump campaign initially said he had, although later backtracked on its claim, and deleted the social media post saying he had.
In the photo op (video below,) Trump posed with several people, including the Republican Attorney General of South Carolina, Alan Wilson, who has held that elected position since 2011.
“Trump’s spokesman announced that Trump bought a Glock today in South Carolina. He even posted video,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob. “If Trump took the gun with him, that’s a federal crime since he’s under indictment. There’s also a law against selling a gun to someone under federal indictment like Trump.”
Reuters’ crime and justice reporter Brad Heath posted the federal laws that might apply, as well as Trump’s campaign spokesperson’s clip of the ex-president’s remarks, and his spokesperson saying, “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!”
18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(1) makes it a federal crime to sell a firearm to a person who is under felony indictment.
And 18 U.S.C. § 922(n) makes it a federal crime for a person under indictment to ship or transport a firearm. https://t.co/CYuMtgAMo5
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) September 25, 2023
CNN analyst Stephen Gutowski, who writes about gun policy, added, “It would be a crime for him to actually buy this gun because he’s under felony indictment. Did he actually go through with this purchase?”
“People under felony indictments can’t ‘receive’ new firearms. That also means you can’t buy them,” he also wrote.
MSNBC anchor and legal contributor Katie Phang wrote, “I don’t know if he actually bought the gun. At least it didn’t happen in this video. Also, the Attorney General of South Carolina is in this video. Is he watching Trump commit a crime?”
But some pointed to a federal judge in Texas’ ruling from last year. Reuters reported, a “federal law prohibiting people under felony indictment from buying firearms is unconstitutional.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
“I want to buy one.”
— Indicted former President Donald Trump while admiring a Glock at a campaign stop in South Carolina. A Trump spokesperson later said he purchased the gun, which would be an apparent violation of federal law. pic.twitter.com/UN05jcGhMH
— The Recount (@therecount) September 25, 2023
- News3 days ago
‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
- News2 days ago
Pete Buttigieg Nails Trump for His Ugly Comments About Wounded Vets
- News20 hours ago
‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General
- News19 hours ago
‘Height of Irresponsibility’: Top LGBTQ Civil Rights Group Slams House Republicans Over Shutdown and ‘Politics of Hate’
- News23 hours ago
‘It Won’t Fare Well’: Legal Expert Trashes Trump’s Hopes for ‘Hail Mary’ Appeal This Week
- News17 hours ago
‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air
- News15 hours ago
‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did
- News13 hours ago
Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’