Brief Filed on Initiative Procedure

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June 20, 2008

(San Francisco, June 20, 2008) – Three California voters and four organizations dedicated to protecting the civil rights of gay and lesbian people filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court today about an initiative that seeks to change the California Constitution to bar gay and lesbian couples from marriage. That initiative is currently slated to appear on the November ballot. The lawsuit argues that the rules for revising the California Constitution were not properly followed.

“We filed this lawsuit because the sponsors of the initiative haven’t followed the very Constitution they’re trying to change,” said Stephen V. Bomse of Heller Ehrman LLP, a lawyer in the suit. “For good reason, there’s a strict process for making revisions to our Constitution, and it’s more involved than simply collecting petition signatures. That process is in place to safeguard our basic form of government, especially the most basic principle of equal protection of the laws. Therefore we are filing this suit today to ask the California Supreme Court to enforce those rules and to require the proponents to follow the correct procedure if they wish to make this far reaching change to our state Constitution.”

The lawsuit was filed in the California Supreme Court on Friday, June 20, 2008. It is expected to be heard this summer.

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

The American Civil Liberties Union is America’s foremost advocate of individual rights. It fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBT rights through the courts, legislatures and public education.

Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

Contact: Jason Howe 213.382.7600 x247; Email: jhowe@lambdalegal.org

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