Monday, June 4, 2012

U.S. Court of Appeals to Issue Filing in Proposition 8 Case

June 4, 2012
Elizabeth Riel 310.560.4886 or
Manny Rivera 323.892.2081 or
U.S. Court of Appeals to Issue Filing in Proposition 8 Case
Ninth Circuit May Address Petition for Rehearing En Banc Filed by Anti-Marriage Proponents of Prop. 8 
*** Filing is Expected Tuesday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m. PDT;
AFER to Hold National Media Conference Call at 10:30 a.m. PDT ***
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San Francisco, CA – The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is expected to issue a filing in Perry v. Brown tomorrow, June 5, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. PDT.  The Ninth Circuit may address a request from anti-marriage forces to reconsider its landmark ruling in the Perry case that found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  Proposition 8 stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.  
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  AFER will hold a national media conference call tomorrow, June 5, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. PDT to discuss the significance and impact of the filing.  Speaking on the call will be Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies; and AFER co-founder Chad Griffin.
On February 7, 2012, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit concluded that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Ninth Circuit panel majority held:
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”
The request for a larger eleven-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case, known as rehearing en banc, is only granted upon a majority vote of the Ninth Circuit’s 25 judges in regular active service at the time Proponents’ petition was filed.  
The Ninth Circuit may also address Proponents’ renewed attempt to impugn the reputation of the United States District Chief Judge who struck down Proposition 8.  Unable to defend Proposition 8 on its merits, Proponents claim that the now-retired Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker was disqualified from ruling on Proposition 8 and that his historic decision should be vacated because he is gay and in a committed relationship.  The Ninth Circuit unanimously rejected Proponents’ offensive argument, stating: “To do otherwise would demonstrate a lack of respect for the integrity of our federal courts.”

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