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Denied Without Comment: CA High Court Says State Officials Needn’t Defend Prop 8

1:24 pm in LGBT by Teddy Partridge

In a ruling that dooms the efforts of the Prop h8 proponents to get California’s Attorney General to defend Proposition 8 in federal court (or get the Governator to make AG Brown defend it in federal court) the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied — without comment – the appeal of the Pacific Justice Institute from the state appeals court’s decision that state officials cannot be forced to defend laws they choose not to defend.

The state Supreme Court refused to come to the aid of California’s embattled ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, denying a conservative group’s request to order Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved measure.

This now puts the issue of standing front and center for the federal appeals court: can Prop 8′s supporters appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling against the constitutionality of Prop 8 absent a legitimate governmental defender?

The governor, like any other party in a court case, is entitled to decide which rulings to appeal, Schwarzenegger’s lawyers said.

Brown’s office said he agrees with the ruling last month by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco throwing out Prop. 8 and has no duty to appeal it.

"Attorneys general are not potted plants in the litigation process," lawyers for Brown told the court. Although the attorney general is required to represent the state, they said, Brown also took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and is not obliged to defend a law he considers unconstitutional.

It’s entirely possible that the federal appeals court could now throw out the appeal based on not having any legitimate entity willing to defend the proposition in its court.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

The Mormon “Hummer Mom” California Children Really Needed Protection From

7:46 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

The rotten image of the suburban hootchie ma — and by ma, I mean "Hummer Mom" as the lads called her in Livermore, California — has reached its apotheosis, if you will, in the tawdry and torrid tale of Christine Shreeve Hubbs. It’s as if Christine Hubbs and her Hummer became a rite of passage for the teen boys of Livermore, as they passed her contact information along to younger teammates and brothers when their need became, um, acute.

Why do we let Mormon wives move in next door? This is why America is not worried about married gays and lesbians in on-base housing. People know who they really need to fear, and why. It’s a Mormon mom who is ruining California youth, not predatory homosexuals. What about precious offspring whose lives have been ruined by this heterosexual monster?

It’s not gay marriage that’s the problem: it’s dental marriage.

In an truly jaw-dropping case, Christine Shreeve Hubbs, an attractive, 42-year-old Mormon mother of three and wife of a dentist, was arrested last week by Livermore police. She was charged with 67 felony counts of sexual assault for multiple trysts with young teenage boys, many in her 2006 black Hummer that gave her the neighborhood nickname "the Hummer Mom."

The two boys whose parents dragged the story out of them are now 15. They described to police years-long contact with this predator, since 2008.

While Californians were told to fear married gays, it was a married mom in a black Hummer who was ruining many real children’s lives.

Sixty-seven felony counts of sexual assault.

Why this threat isn’t generalized to prohibit unescorted rides home from Mormon moms, while made-up stories of pederasty prompt Mormons to fund a ‘protect the children’ campaign against marriage equality in California, is beyond me.

Seriously, who is the bigger threat, you Latter Day Saints? A stable gay or lesbian couple down the street, or a predator in her giant Hummer scooping up lads to initiate into sex play before they are teens?

Next time your church wants to demonize a population as a danger to children, from whom California children need real protection, look a little closer to home, okay?

Heal thyself, faithful Moroni. Heal thyself and thy flock.

STAY GRANTED: New “Expedited” Schedule, Must Address “Standing” Issue

3:53 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Here’s the text of the order from the Ninth Circuit, vacating the previous schedule and asking appellants to address, in their opening brief, the issue of standing. No marriages this week, it appears….

Before: LEAVY, HAWKINS and THOMAS, Circuit Judges.
Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of August 4, 2010
pending appeal is GRANTED. The court sua sponte orders that this appeal be
expedited pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 2. The provisions of
Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a) (pertaining to grants of time extensions) shall not
apply to this appeal. This appeal shall be calendared during the week of December
6, 2010, at The James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco, California.
The previously established briefing schedule is vacated. The opening brief
is now due September 17, 2010. The answering brief is due October 18, 2010.
The reply brief is due November 1, 2010. In addition to any issues appellants wish
to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a
discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III
standing. See Arizonans For Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 66 (1997).

H8ers Ask CA Gov and AG: Defend Prop 8!

3:18 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

[Ed. note: Please note the call to action here; don't let the haters swamp the system and obscure the true numbers of LGBT rights supporters. Be sure to check out Teddy's post on the stay granted yesterday by the 9th Circuit, as well as FDL's Prop 8 coverage page.]

The proponents of Proposition 8 — the folks who got the civil right to marry stripped from gay and lesbian couples at the 2008 ballot box — are now petitioning Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown to defend Prop 8 in court. According to reports from the offices of the two highest law enforcement officials in California, calls to their offices are running strongly in favor of H8. Can you please call Arnold as well as Jerry Brown and ask them to continue to stand up for equality?

Here’s part of the letter sent out earlier by the Capitol Resource Institute:

Jerry Brown is not appealing. Put another way, Jerry Brown has refused to file the appeal of the recent federal trial court decision declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Yes, it is his responsibility as the Attorney General (AG) to defend voter-approved measures, but he does not agree with Proposition 8.

And his failure to do his duty may end this battle right here.

As John Eastman points out in the Flashreport, unless the official government defendants file a notice of appeal the issue may end with the decision of one judge in San Francisco. The proponents of the measure may not have standing to file the appeal.

But, as Eastman also points out, the Governor can file this appeal. While the Governor also opposes Proposition 8, we hope that he is fair minded enough to realize that the people of California deserve a full hearing in the courts on this important measure.

Governor Schwarzenegger, under Government Code (GC) Section 12013 has the authority to direct AG Jerry Brown to appear on behalf of the State. If the Attorney General refuses, then the Governor has the right to and should file the notice of appeal. He may also employ additional counsel, as he deems expedient. The lawsuit against Proposition 8, Perry v Schwarzenegger, even includes the Governor’s name because the lawsuit is against the State. GC Section 12013 further reads that the Governor has the right to demand the AG’s appearance and supply additional counsel when suit or legal proceeding is pending against the State.

Folks on their side are responding to this appeal, according to people in the office of the Attorney General and the Governor. Can you please call today to ask Jerry Brown — and Arnold — to continue to stand with us in favor of equality?

Call the Governor
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Call the Attorney General
Phone: 916-324-5437
Fax: 916-445-6749

Send an email to both right here.

House Hard-Core Hate-Filled Homophobe Caucus Moves to Condemn Perry

10:23 am in Government, Legislature, LGBT, Politics, Republican Party by Teddy Partridge

[Ed. note: see the fun fact at the end which I missed the first time I read this piece -- worth a chuckle over these chuckleheads.]

The hard-core homophobes in the House GOP caucus have revealed themselves, and they are a sorry lot indeed. These are the people American history books will cast into the dustbin: bigots, haters, the sorry folks who see civil rights as a zero-sum game. If you get your civil rights, I lose mine.

A group of conservative House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a resolution in Congress to condemn the recent federal court decision overturning Proposition 8 in California.

The introduction of the non-binding measure is one of the most prominent moves against the ruling from Republicans, whose response has largely been muted, or in some cases supportive of the decision.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is sponsoring the resolution, H. Res. 1607. The measure is pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

A quick reminder here: Lamar Smith is the Ranking Member of this Committee, and would become its Chair should the GOP take over the House this fall.

The resolution goes after Judge Vaughn Walker directly, and makes the incontrovertible statement that the decision is "wrong:"

The resolution offers findings faulting U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision for engaging in improper conduct during his consideration of the case. It says Walker “failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner” and “attempted to illegally broadcast the trial in disregard of the harassment such broadcast would invite on witnesses supporting Proposition 8.”

The resolution concludes that the sense of the U.S. House is that:

• Walker “failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner before striking down California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 and thereby redefined traditional marriage to include same-sex relationships;”

• and Walker’s decision to overturn “California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 is wrong.”


Here is the full text of the hate-filled screed.

And here is the list of the hard-core homophobes in the House, GOPs all, who want their body to reject Judge Walker’s reasoned decision in the face of foolish non-evidence that gays are icky:

Mr. SMITH of Texas (for himself, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. JORDAN of Ohio, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. AKIN, Mr. CHAFFETZ, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. LATTA, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. PITTS, Mr. JONES, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. FLEMING, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. HOEKSTRA, Mr. MARCHANT, and Mr. ADERHOLT)

Fun fact: I do believe the resolution mis-names the case decided by Judge Walker. Mr Smith calls it Hollingsworth v Perry and not Perry v Schwarzenegger. Maybe this is the revenge of a gay or lesbian copy-editor in someone’s office on Capitol Hill?

DENIED: Prop 8 Stay to Be Lifted Aug. 18 at 5:00 p.m. PDT

12:41 pm in Culture, LGBT by Teddy Partridge

Here’s the actual text from Vaughn Walker’s court:

ORDER by Judge Walker denying [705] Motion to Stay. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment forthwith. That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8. (vrwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/12/2010)

[Ed. note: You can view the full document at this link: Prop 8 Stay Order. More about the denial here: Breaking: Judge Walker Denies Prop 8 Motion, Stays Decision till 8/18, by bmaz.]

Couples Line Up at SF City Hall Awaiting Vaughn Walker’s Decision Today

11:01 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Awaiting Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision today about a stay on his Perry ruling, lesbian and gay couples lined up at San Francisco’s City Hall to take advantage of what might prove to be a narrow window again for legal same-sex nuptials in California.

Rod Wood, 56, and his boyfriend of seven years, Roger Hunt, 52, were the first in line at San Francisco City Hall. The San Francisco couple said they wanted to be there in case the window of opportunity to wed was small.

Wood proposed to Hunt two days ago, and the couple got rings Wednesday night at the Stonestown Galleria. If the two get married, they plan to celebrate their honeymoon by taking a motorcycle trip to the Sierra.

"I’m trying to remain calm, but I don’t want to be devastated if the stay is lifted," Hunt said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker intends to rule today on whether same-sex marriage can resume. Last week, Walker invalidated Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in 2008 and bans same-sex marriage in California, but he immediately put in place a stay that froze enforcement of his ruling.

And the City and County of San Francisco appears to be fully prepared to provide legal services at the Marriage Licenses window as soon as is possible:

One couple, Teresa Rowe, and her girlfriend of five years, Kristin Orbin, both 31, arrived at 4:30 a.m. from Fairfield. They were playing it safe; rather than wait in line at the clerk’s office, they were sitting on the steps of City Hall to see whether Vaughn would lift the stay.

The clerk’s office, meanwhile, was girding for the likely onrush of same-sex couples seeking to get married.

"We’re fully prepared,’ said deputy county clerk Alan Wong. "We’re fully ready."

Both of the state’s two highest elected officials, in briefs to the Court, have urged the judge not to use potential administrative delays as an excuse to hold off on allowing California to resume marrying same-sex couples:

Schwarzenegger said the state was well-equipped to handle the marriages of gays and pointed to the fact that an estimated 18,000 gay couples were wed in California before Proposition 8 passed.

"Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty,” Schwarzenegger’s office said in written arguments to the court.

The governor called Walker’s repudiation of Proposition 8 "consistent with California’s long history of leading the way in recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian families to order their relationships and manage their day-to-day lives."

Brown also told Walker that possible administrative difficulties should not be used as an excuse for denying gays the right to wed. Brown said his office last year opposed a pretrial request to block Proposition 8 only because the legal and factual issues had not yet been explored.

It’s a Lie to Call Vaughn Walker Openly Gay — But It’s Not a Smear

11:18 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

The right-wing is in overdrive attacking Judge Vaughn Walker’s bias, since they say he is ‘openly gay.’ Of course, Walker isn’t openly gay by any stretch of the imagination. But Michaelangelo Signorile perpetuates a dangerous stereotype, difficult to shed for men of my generation and Vaughn Walker’s, by calling these lies ‘smears’ in his otherwise excellent HuffPost article today entitled Judge Vaughn Walker Gets Smeared By the Media. It’s not a smear to call someone openly gay, since there’s nothing wrong with being gay in the first place.

Signorile:

The way that the sexual orientation of Judge Vaughn Walker — the federal judge who overturned Proposition 8 last week — has been targeted and exploited by proponents of Prop 8 is not only an example of the ugly smear tactics of the theocratic thugs who call themselves Christians; it’s a testament to how easily the media is manipulated by the right into doing things about which editors and reporters claim to be staunchly opposed.

I’m talking about that fact that every far-right organization, from the National Organization for Marriage to the evangelical American Family Association, has attacked Walker’s decision as biased because he is supposedly "openly gay."

How did the media choose to report on Judge Vaughn Walker’s sexual orientation after the Perry decision was announced?

But more grotesque is the lie Perkins is spinning out, because Judge Walker is in fact not "openly" gay. Perkins surely knows that, as an obsessed proponent of Prop 8 following the trial day in and day out. Judge Walker has not ever confirmed to anyone in the media what sexual orientation he may be. And yet most major media organizations, from the New York Times and ABC News to the Washington Post and National Public Radio, have reported on him as gay or had commentators saying it.

Signorile contrasts the difference treatment from the mainstream media of the Kirby Dick/Mike Rogers documentary film Outrage and points out that most outlets elected not to name the names the film did in their reviews.

Then Signorile goes too far, I believe, in labeling the discussion of whether Vaughn Walker is openly gay a ‘smear’ conducted by ‘smear artists.’ It may very well be a lie to broadcast that Vaughn Walker is openly gay, since he’s never discussed his sexual orientation publicly.

Well, there was NPR last week, in an "All Things Considered" report, jumping on the bandwagon, like the Washington Post and others, reporting on Judge Walker as "openly gay" in the context of the criticisms against his ruling. The only difference was that this time the claims were coming from right-wing smear artists, whom the mainstream media are only too eager to accommodate.

It is no smear in the 21st century to call someone openly gay, because there’s nothing wrong with being gay. Our commentators play into the subtle characterization of ‘wrongness’ when we call an error a smear. It’s wrong, bad journalism, and untrue to call Vaughn Walker openly gay.

But it is certainly no smear.

Prop 8 Trial Ruling Wednesday Between 1-3pm PDT

7:39 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Judge Vaughn Walker of the Ninth Circuit Court announced Tuesday that he will rule on the Prop 8 case (Perry v Schwarzenegger) on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. The ruling will be issued sometime between 1 and 3pm Pacific time and will not be read from the bench. Judge Walker’s ruling will be issued through the court’s electronic filing system, so it will be available to one and all at exactly the same time.

I certainly hope the Ninth Circuit is prepared for the constant refreshing of browser windows starting at 4pm Eastern item as concerned attorneys and court personnel everywhere with PACER assess log on to determine which side will be appealing Judge Walker’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a virtual certainty.

From the Court’s announcement today:

August 3, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT

On August 4, 2010, the court will issue its written order containing findings of fact and conclusions of law following the court trial held in January and June of this year. The order will be e-filed in the court’s Electronic Case Filing system, and will be immediately available thereafter through ECF and PACER. There will be no court proceeding associated with the publication of the order.

Perry v Schwarzenegger Closing Arguments Wednesday 6/16: LIVE at FDL

4:40 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Here’s the wrapup schedule, essentially what to expect on Wednesday in the last inning of the federal trial in San Francisco on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 that made marriage equality illegal.

Our liveblogging will resume tomorrow (Wednesday 6/16) at approximately 10am pacific time; we’ll have posts for you at The Seminal (Teddy) and at Emptywheel (Marcy and Bmaz). For your reference, here’s what we expect the schedule to look like (all times pacific/FDL, so please don’t expect any liveblog posts before 1pm eastern time!):

PROP8Badge4.jpg 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Plaintiffs (argued by Ted Olson and David Boies)

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM City and County of San Francisco

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Governor, Attorney General and county defendants

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:15 PM Proponents (argued by Charles Cooper)

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Plaintiffs’ rebuttal

Please check with the American Foundation for Equal Rights for updates should this schedule change. We look forward to providing you the best in-depth and most current online team coverage of the Prop 8 federal trial in San Francisco.

If you want to know what’s happening, check with FDL.

Here is FireDogLake’s Prop 8 Trial hub webpage, where every FDL post and many external resources are available at one click.

Marcy and bmaz will be blogging at Emptywheel with their impressions, and I’ll be right here at The Seminal all day (pacific time!) Wednesday June 16th.

See you then for the final fireworks!