Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Supreme Court Hears Prop 8 Case Thursday

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments
in Prop 8 Legal Challenge on March 5

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in the Proposition 8 legal challenge.

On November 19, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and set an expedited schedule. Briefing in the case was completed on January 21, 2009.

The California Supreme Court must issue its decisions within 90 days of oral argument.

On January 15, 2009, 43 friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Court to invalidate Prop 8 were filed, arguing that Proposition 8 drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California’s Constitution and that the rights of a minority cannot be eliminated by a simple majority vote. The supporters represent the full gamut of California’s and the nation’s civil rights organizations and legal scholars, as well as California legislators, local governments, bar associations, business interests, labor unions, and religious groups.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that laws that treat people differently based on their sexual orientation violate the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and that same-sex couples have the same fundamental right to marry as other Californians. Proposition 8 eliminated this fundamental right only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group. Proposition 8 passed by a bare majority of 52 percent on November 4.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU filed this challenge on November 5, representing Equality California, whose members include many same-sex couples who married between June 16 and November 4, 2008, and six same-sex couples who want to marry in California. The California Supreme Court has also agreed to hear two other challenges filed on the same day: one filed by the City and County of San Francisco (joined by Santa Clara County and the City of Los Angeles, and subsequently by Los Angeles County and other local governments); and another filed by a private attorney.

Serving as co-counsel on the case with NCLR, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU are the Law Office of David C. Codell, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

The case is Strauss et al. v. Horton et al. (#S168047). Click here for more information.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Supporters of gays in military urge Obama to move quickly

What's the matter with Obama when it comes to gays, anyway? He has said the he supports a ban on "don't ask, don't tell" but is now waffling and calling for yet another study, which will hold up the entire process. So much for change. It's business as usual on this issue and in fact, on every major progressive issue dealing with GLBT rights.

Read the article for a long list of studies and research that conclude there is no harm in allowing gays to be open about their orientation. This has been studied to death. It's time to make it happen and let people get on with their lives and their careers.

"When Air Force physician Monica Hill’s partner of 14 years, Terry, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Monica requested a leave of absence to care for her. Sadly, two months later, Terry died on September 11, 2001. While still coping with the tragic loss of her partner, Monica was involuntarily discharged from the military because she had violated the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy when she asked to be at her dying partner’s side."

Since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was implemented in 1993; the military has discharged more than 10,000 Service Members. Countless others left to avoid persecution.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is the nation’s largest employer and the only organization that enforces a policy of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

To date more than $285 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent to replace those discharged.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Beaten Generation - The The

I don't stutter. The song is The Beaten Generation by the band The The.

I like the idea of a blog anthem. Mad Priest has four of them, which you should really take the time to listen to. And while I don't plan on making it official by any means, today I like this one.

Oh, and at OCICBW there is also a great midnight jukebox.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Smiths - Half A Person

What's Goin' On

How was every one's weekend? Back to work tomorrow but that's a good thing. To speak plainly: I feel fortunate that I have a job and health insurance benefits, sick time and a union. And I'm doing my damnest to make the most of it. Doom and gloom everywhere. And there is no end in sight! I'm looking at the depressing prospect of launching my first-born into this economy when she graduates from college later this year. :-/ Yikes.

Meanwhile life tumbles along. I've posted some nice art for Mellow Yellow Monday - go to The Pagan's Eye to check it out.

I also plan to square up some music or some insane youtube nonsense or lotsense. Stay tuned.

Make Love, Not War, Children. Don't forget to love the kids and the animals. Remember to pay attention to everything. Take care of your heart while at the same time holding your own. Feel deserving.
(I don't know what' s gotten in to me with the preaching. ;-)

Love all; trust a few; do harm to none.
~ William Shakespeare

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