American Foundation for Equal Rights

BREAKING: California Court to Rule in Prop. 8 Case

Special Message from Chad Griffin, AFER Board President

Tomorrow, our federal lawsuit for marriage equality will take a dramatic leap forward.

The California Supreme Court will issue its advisory opinion on the issue of standing in our case at 10 a.m. PT, setting the stage for a speedy ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here’s the great news: No matter what happens, we win. Either the Federal District Court ruling that declared Prop. 8 unconstitutional stands, or our case proceeds on its merits with the strong likelihood of reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. Because there is no reason to justify discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans, we are confident that the higher courts will affirm our District Court victory.

I hope you’ll take a few moments right now to read about the status of our case for full federal equality and the progress we are making.

Like you, I have been frustrated by the delay of our case. Equality is not something we should have to wait for. But right now our case is back on the fast track and we are on the cusp of achieving equality for all.

The anti-marriage forces have tried every trick in their playbook to delay, conceal, and distract from the truth. But they have run out of tricks, and they have no case.

With strong public opinion on our side, the historic victory in District Court, and your support, soon every couple in the Golden State, and hopefully in our great nation, will have the freedom to marry the person they love.


Chad Griffin
AFER Board President


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California Supreme Court to Weigh in on Standing

Tomorrow, November 17 at 10 a.m. PT, the California Supreme Court will issue its advisory opinion on the issue of standing in our case.

Here’s some background: After the Ninth Circuit heard our case, it decided that it needed some clarification on state law. Because the Governor and Attorney General of California both found Prop. 8 to be unconstitutional, it’s currently unclear whether the proponents of Prop. 8 have the legal qualifications to appeal our historic District Court victory.
Once the California court issues its opinion, the Ninth Circuit will determine if the Proponents have standing. If it finds that the Proponents don’t have standing, the District Court decision stands. Alternatively, if the court does find standing, it can rule on the merits of our case.


Efforts to Release Video of the Historic Prop. 8 Trial

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has fast-tracked hearing whether the public has the right to see video of the Prop. 8 trial. Oral arguments are set for Thursday, December 8.

The District Court granted our motion to release the tapes in September, saying that “Transparency is pivotal to the public perception of the judiciary’s legitimacy and independence.”

The Prop. 8 proponents filed an immediate appeal. Anti-marriage forces know that they have no case, and so now they are trying to prevent the American public from seeing what happened at trial.

We have have been joined by a broad media coalition, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, FOX News, NBC News, the Hearst Corporation, Dow Jones & Co., and others.


Anti-Marriage Forces Continue Homophobic Campaign to Get the Decision Thrown Out

The anti-marriage forces who sponsored Prop. 8 are continuing their desperate campaign to get our case tossed out. They failed to prove their case in District Court and now they are saying that the trial judge was biased because he is gay and in a long-term relationship. Their motion to vacate our District Court victory was swiftly rejected by Chief Judge James Ware in June and universally condemned in the media. But, once again, the Proponents appealed that decision.

Briefs in the matter have been filed and we are awaiting word from the Ninth Circuit on next steps.


National Poll: Most Americans Support the Freedom to Marry

Demonstrating rapid growth in public support for marriage equality, last week’s Pew Research Center survey showed once again that more Americans support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples, a nine-point increase in two short years. Six other recent polls have clearly demonstrated the nation’s support for the issue.