Brown still fighting Prop 8
by Cynthia Laird
California Attorney General Jerry Brown continues to fight the constitutionality of Proposition 8, arguing in court papers filed as part of a federal challenge to the same-sex marriage ban that it violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Brown's answer comes in response to the federal lawsuit filed last month by two same-sex couples who are being represented by the high-power odd-couple legal team of Ted Olson, a conservative, and David Boies, a liberal.
The suit, known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger , alleges that Prop 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in California, creates a class of "second-class citizens" and thereby violates the U.S. Constitution. The suit, which was filed in district court in San Francisco just days before the state Supreme Court upheld the same-sex marriage ban, also seeks an injunction against Prop 8 until the case is resolved.
In documents last week, both Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, also a party in the lawsuit, argued against granting an injunction.
But Brown continues to maintain Prop 8 is unconstitutional.
The major gay legal groups oppose the federal lawsuit and said in a joint statement last month that such an action could "set the fight for marriage back."
Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors issued a statement last week praising Brown's court filing, especially in comparison to the federal Department of Justice's strong defense of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in its brief in yet another federal lawsuit, Smelt v. U.S. That court filing drew shock and anger from many in the LGBT community. [See story, page 1.]
"Equality California is extremely appreciative of the attorney general's continued leadership in opposition to Proposition 8 and in support of ending discrimination against LGBT Californians," Kors stated.
The Perry case has been assigned to Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who has scheduled a July 2 hearing date.