Riding a Dead Horse Toward Justice, A Statement from San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality on the Prop 8 Decision
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012, San Diego, CA
The Ninth Circuit court of Appeals announced today that it will uphold a federal court ruling declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. This is the second milestone “day of decision” for Prop 8. After its narrow passage in 2008, the unlikely team of Ted Olsen and David Boies brought a law suit against the State of California (Perry vs. Schwarzenegger) claiming that two same-sex couples were subject to discrimination protected against by the United States Constitution. In August 4th, 2010 Federal court judge Vaughn Walker agreed with the plaintiffs in a ruling finding that the “equal protection” and “due process” clauses of the 14th Amendment were violated when gay couples were not allowed to marry. The appeals court today agreed that the discrimination inherent in prop 8 was unopposed, and affirmed the illegality of the state sanctioned marriage ban.
“We recognize that the court’s decision today strengthens the argument that there should be no discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, but we are angered that the courts are allowing this judicial process to stand in the way of justice delivered, by granting a continuation of the stay on the decision”
In a nation that upholds the separation of church and state, and the right to equal treatment under the law, it is a shame that a legal process can be used to circumvent justice for the oppressed. The courts, by maintaining a stay on the decision, are allowing proponents of Prop 8 to impede justice by taking any one of several steps to prolong the life of this 'dead horse'.
This legal battle is generally understood to be far from over, the process of appeals and retrials could last for up to another 3 years. In that time, it is not unlikely, according to a June 29, 2011 New York Times model, that up to a dozen or more states could gain marriage equality through legislation or referendum at this point in time. The proponents of Prop 8 know they are losing support from all angles, and the laws they support will be rejected more and more frequently. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice”. The supporters of Prop 8 are corrupting this arc, and steering our nation though dark and angry times on the way.
“In states like Washington and New Jersey, legislative victories for equality are taking off; here in California we are caught in a judicial holding pattern. Proposition 8 has been plaguing the California LGBT community for over 3 years. Half of that time it has stood after having been declared unconstitutional in federal courts.” remarked Sean Bohac. “There is only one outcome that represents real justice for the LGBT community, one that would immediately grant the equality that every person deserves the right to marry the person of their choice.”
In coordination with the San Diego office of Canvass for a Cause, San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality announces a rally and march starting at 6PM at the intersection of 6th and University Avenues. Community members are invited to celebrate the ruling or protest the delay of justice. While some will gather beforehand to hold signs, the public is invited to meet by 6PM. A march to The Joyce Beers Community Center will end with community leaders and activists remarking on the day’s events.
San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) is dedicated to working for equal rights for all, particularly restoring marriage equality for all Californians. It envisions a California where all people can marry the person of their choice, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It works to find common ground and build coalitions among California's diverse communities. More information is available at www.samealliance.com.