August 2010, Week 1


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Wed, 4 Aug 2010 22:56:54 -0400
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Federal Court Rules for Marriage Equality

1. Human Rights Campaign
2. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force


Federal Court Declares California's Proposition 8 Unconstitutional

Trial judge rules that ban on marriage equality
violates guarantees of equal protection, due process.

August 4, 2010
The Human Rights Campaign

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign - the nation's
largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
civil rights organization - today praised the historic
decision of Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California
in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which declared that the
amendment to the California Constitution barring
marriage for same-sex couples, adopted in November 2008
as Proposition 8, violates the U.S. Constitution's
guarantees of equal protection and due process.

"After hearing extensive evidence in support of
marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the
discrimination wrought by Prop 8, Judge Walker reached
the same conclusion we have always known to be true -
the Constitution's protections are for all Americans,
including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
community," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We thank
the courageous plaintiff couples, the American
Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson
and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to
today's decision and their ongoing commitment as the
case moves forward on appeal. The battle for marriage
equality continues, and we must all continue our work -
in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and
living rooms - until equality is reality for LGBT
people and our families everywhere."

In response to a 2008 decision by the California
Supreme Court ending marriage discrimination in the
state, anti-equality forces succeeded in placing a
constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
Despite over 18,000 same-sex couples having married,
California voters adopted the amendment, known as
Proposition 8. After the California Supreme Court
determined in 2009 that the adoption of Prop 8 did not
itself violate the California Constitution, two
plaintiff couples -- Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo - filed suit against the
State of California in federal court, represented by
attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by
the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The
proponents of Prop 8 intervened in the case to defend
the constitutionality of the amendment. Judge Walker
held a historic trial in January, in which the
plaintiffs presented substantial testimony and evidence
to show that Prop 8's only purpose is to discriminate
against same-sex couples. Both sides have previously
indicated that they would appeal Judge Walker's
decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit, and the case may ultimately be heard by the
U.S. Supreme Court.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil
rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and
engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end
discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a
nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality
for all.


Task Force responds to ruling in Prop. 8 case
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
August 4, 2010

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 - The National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force responded to today's ruling in California's
Proposition 8 case.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force

"This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed
couples who want nothing more than the same rights and
security as other families. From the start, this has
been about basic fairness. Today we celebrate the
affirmation of this fundamental principle; tomorrow, we
are back out there sharing our personal stories and
having conversations with Californians and people all
across the country about why this matters and who we

"The tide is turning nationwide in favor of marriage
equality, but our work is far from over. Today's ruling
is just a beginning step in what will likely be a long
process, yet we are confident that fairness will
prevail. Our conversations are breaking down barriers
and helping to transform our country."

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's work in

Since the passage of Prop. 8 in November 2008, the
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has continued to
work on the ground in California with state and local
partners to restore the freedom to marry. Its priority
remains bolstering local organizing designed to
persuade voters to support the freedom to marry.
Through partnerships with Equality California and the
Vote for Equality project of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian
Center, volunteers are being trained to talk face to
face, door to door with former Yes on 8 voters about
marriage for same-sex couples.

These conversations are yielding important insight into
voters' barriers for supporting the freedom to marry
and are showing success at changing attitudes towards
marriage. Additionally, Task Force organizers are
providing ongoing skills training to a wide range of
local leaders to support long-term community change
that includes, but is not exclusive to, marriage
equality. In early June, the Task Force organized the
California LGBT Power Summit, which brought together
more than 130 leaders for an intensive skills training
in volunteer recruitment, fundraising, door-to-door
canvassing, and working across lines of racial


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