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01/16/2009

Amicable developments

by Jeremy Hooper

There have been so many anti-Prop 8 amicus briefs filed over the past few days, it's been hard to keep up. Seriously -- queer legal document fetishists need a smoke after the "friend of the court" orgy in which they've been immersed. Everyone from the California NAACP to local labor unions have been putting pen to paper in hopes that fair-minded California will be able to "curiae" the ill that is Prop 8.

Well as unrepentant gay geeks, one of the most exciting developments that has come our way comes from a small online startup you may have heard of. It's called Gogle, Gaggle, Goggle, or something like that. Here, let that obscure company's blog writer tell you about it:

In September of last year, Google announced its opposition to California's Proposition 8. While the campaign was emotionally charged and difficult for both sides, in the wake of the election many were concerned with the impact Proposition 8 could have on the personal lives of people they work with every day, and on California's ability to attract and retain a diverse mix of employees from around the world.

That's why we've signed an
amicus brief (PDF file) in support of several cases currently challenging Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court. Denying employees basic rights isn't right, and it isn't good for businesses. We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success.

Please
join us in continuing to fight for equality for all Californians.
Supporting Equality [Google Blog]

Good show, techno-gressives! If your charming little company needs a link or something, just let us know. We know how hard it can be to build web traffic.

**UPDATE:

Sixty-five current and former state legislators filed a friend-of-the court brief Friday to support legal efforts to void Proposition 8, the ballot initiative approved by voters Nov. 6 that bans gay marriage.
State lawmakers file brief opposing Prop. 8 [Sac. Biz Journal]

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Your thoughts

I have read sooooo many of these over the past couple of days, that my eyes are blurry. It is very heartening to see all of those who are taking a stand for fairness and decency. Though, some of the funniest come from the pro-h8 briefs. The arrogance, and ignorance of those on that side is immeasurable.

But, I just cracked this one open, and found that Levi Strauss is a cosignatory! Don't let the A-boycottin'-FA catch wind of that, of you know what will happen next...

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 16, 2009 3:45:45 PM

Yes, ...here are the signatories to the Google one:
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, GOOGLE Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co.

OOOO! Just wait no more jeans to be worn ever by Yes on H8ers! Can't wait
till they announce the boycott.

Posted by: LOrion | Jan 16, 2009 8:31:11 PM

from EQCA...other briefs from the following, just in case you wanted to know. I did.

Professors from the most prominent universities and law schools in California and the country authored briefs urging invalidation of Proposition 8, including scholars from Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Hastings, Davis, Irvine), University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, University of San Francisco, Loyola Law School, Santa Clara Law School, Chapman University, and Pepperdine University.

A coalition of more than 50 California labor organizations, including United Healthcare Workers (UHW) and the California Labor Federation, filed an amicus brief on January 13, 2009 urging the Court to invalidate Proposition 8. The labor organizations represent more than two million working men and women in California. The brief defends the rights of all Californians to equal treatment under the constitution, and argues that union members' rights could be in jeopardy if Proposition 8 were held to be valid.

Leading African American, Latino, and Asian American civil rights groups filed a brief arguing that Proposition 8 prevents the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of enforcing the equal protection rights of minorities.

"We would be making a grave mistake to view Proposition 8 as just affecting the LGBT community," said Eva Paterson, president of the Equal Justice Society. "If the Supreme Court allows Proposition 8 to take effect, it would represent a threat to the rights of people of color and all minorities."

In a brief filed on January 14, 2009, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members discussed the harm Proposition 8 poses to religious minorities.

"Proposition 8 poses a grave threat to religious freedom," said Rev. Rick Schlosser, Executive Director of the California Council of Churches. "If the Court permits same-sex couples to be deprived of equal protection by a simple majority vote, religious minorities could be denied equal protection as well—a terrible injustice in a nation founded by people who emigrated to escape religious persecution. If the Court permits Proposition 8 to take effect, religious discrimination similarly could be written into California's Constitution."

Also on January 14, leading local, state and national women's rights organizations submitted a brief asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.

Other briefs supporting the legal challenge were filed on behalf of 66 current and former California legislators; the California League of Women Voters; dozens of bar associations, civil rights, and legal aid organizations; a number of California cities; and numerous children's advocacy organizations and LGBT civil rights organizations, including the National Center for Youth Law, Legal Services for Children, the National Black Justice Coalition, and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Posted by: LOrion | Jan 16, 2009 8:45:54 PM

For a more amusing/ridiculous brief, check out this one by Michael J. McDermott: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/s168078-amcur-support-declaration.pdf

Sounding rather paranoid, he continually references the "Male Minority" and calls himself a "Men's Rights Advocate." To him, gender is immutable, being gay is merely the choice to engage in "Homosex Behaviors," the original Ca. Supreme Court ruling gave people superior rights, sperm banks are "deadbeat dad factories," and Nazism is the fault of "butch Homo-Anal Coprophile Ephebophiles." He also seems to have it out for lesbians specifically, University of California "campus feminist/homosex thought police," and good ol' communists. This isn't as bizarro as that one woman who claimed she was the Heiress of God, but it still makes you wonder why someone would take the time to write and go through the steps to submit this kind of crap.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 16, 2009 10:14:04 PM

Shannon Minter and the legal team fighting prop h8 summed up the reason why ALL GLBT persons (and all other minority defined persons) in California must actively oppose proposition 8. The lying liars who are arguing in support of Prop 8 have suggested that they are not interested in stripping other rights from the LGBT community. The Minter group accurately assess the true ramifications of that. I retyped this, so if there are typos then I apologize, but this is from the brief they filed with the California Supreme Court:


If Proposition 8 were allowed to stand, it may be that Californians would rest content with having barred gay and lesbian persons from freedom to marry and would not seek to strip gay and lesbian persons of any additional rights, as Interveners speculate. (Inter. Br. at pp. 17, 23.) What is certain, however, and requires no speculation, is that gay and lesbian Californians would enjoy their remaining "rights" subject to the whim of a simple majority of the voters, rather than as a matter of secure guarantee under the California Constitution. The same would be true for other historically disfavored minorities, who would no longer enjoy a secure right to equal liberty and citizenship under the California Constitution.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 17, 2009 7:51:53 PM

As nice as it would be to see Prop 8 overturned, this legal manouvering is just clutching at straws. The chance of success is very low.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | Jan 18, 2009 9:11:22 AM

Suricou: Could not disagree more. There are multiple legal reasons why Prop 8 could and should be overturned.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 18, 2009 9:44:58 AM

I've been following this debate somewhat, and I'm struck by a concern. Both sides are so heated, that I don't think either is considering the ramifications of successfully getting the Calif. Supreme Court to hear, and reverse the voting decision of the people.

The big picture on that is if you are successful, you will be telling all of those folks who voted that their vote, whether yea or nay is meaningless. Consider that everyone who voted on this issue exercised their constitutional right to weigh in. If the court now steps in and overturns the will of the people, then you are nullifying the vote in favour of having one of the judicial branch draft the law instead. That was never the intent of the framers of the constitution. The courts' job is to interpret existing law, not draft it. Do you really want to nullify voting rights? As it is people already feel their vote counts for nothing, do you really want to prove them right? Something to consider

Posted by: catholic defender | Jan 26, 2009 3:19:08 PM

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