Prop 8 Battle Continues

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Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are seeking to represent LGBT community groups in the federal case against Prop 8 — the antigay ballot measure that denied gays and lesbians the fundamental right to marry in the state.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger was filed by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies in May on behalf of two same-sex couples, asking for a preliminary order blocking Prop 8. Lambda Legal, NCLR and ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief for the preliminary hearing in the case, and recently filed a motion to intervene — a request already granted by the Court to the proponents of the antigay measure.

Judge Vaughn R. Walker has called for efficient, comprehensive preparation of the case and trial to resolve a number of "factual disputes" relevant to the arguments presented by the existing parties in the case, including whether Prop 8 was passed with discriminatory intent and whether allowing gays and lesbians to marry undermines the stability of heterosexual marriages. "These groups wish to illustrate for the court the diverse needs of their members and the gay community generally to provide the full factual record Judge Walker said will help the appellate courts as they decide whether gay people in California have the same basic rights as the Golden State's heterosexual population," says Lambda Legal National Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer.

Chad Griffin, Board President of The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group backing the Olson-Boies legal team, welcomed our friend-of-the-court brief, declaring that Lambda Legal and our sister LGBT legal groups "have brought inspiring leadership and legal expertise to the cause of ensuring all Americans are treated equally under the law."

The case is Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

July 8, 2009