article placeholder

Prop 8 battle resumes Sept. 6

Georgians gather to support Prop 8 ruling

The legal battle over California's Proposition 8 will resume in September as the state's high court will take up the issue over whether supporters of a ballot initiative have the authority to fight court rulings if the state's governor and attorney general refuse to do so, according to the Associated Press.

The court will hear arguments on Sept. 6.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled in August 2010 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to challenge Walker's ruling.

Jerry Brown is now the governor of California.

article placeholder

Gay readers respond (angrily) to Marietta columnist’s anti-gay op-ed

When syndicated conservative columnist Dick Yarbrough wrote an anti-gay rant last week in the Marietta Daily Journal mocking California's law requiring LGBT history be taught in schools,  gay readers decided to respond in kind.

Two things for sure — some don't like being called "Gay Blade" or take kindly to hoop skirts.

Yarbrough wrote in his July 13 column about a phone conversation he had with this fictional character he called "Gay Blade," a flaming liberal, who warned him that soon Georgia's public schools would have to teach kids about historical LGBT figures. Because, you see, California is now doing it. Of course, there's a group of social conservatives trying to get the law repealed.

Yarbrough retorted to his fictional "friend" this was ridiculous because the state's leaders have more important priorities.

"Besides, we have a lot of pride in Georgia's history and the last thing we need to know is that some guy we named a county for used to run around at night in hoop skirts," Yarbrough wrote.

article placeholder

DOJ: California school district must properly deal with bullying after student’s suicide

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education reached a settlement today with a California school district after one of its middle school students, Seth Walsh, committed suicide in the wake of years worth of bullying and harassment based on the student's non-conformity with gender roles, according to the ACLU of Southern California.

Walsh, who was 13 at the time of his suicide, killed himself in September of last year. After his death, the Department of Education received a complaint that the school district did not fulfill its responsibility in keeping Walsh safe from threats, bullying and harassment.

According to The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), incidents were reported to school officials but the district failed to adequately respond or deal with the offending students.

article placeholder

Prop 8: Cali. Supreme Court to hear arguments on standing

The California Supreme Court will weigh into the Proposition 8 battle after a three judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court said it could not rule on the on-going case until it knew whether or not the law's backers had the legal standing to defend the law in court.

A Tweet sent by American Foundation for Equal Rights late this afternoon read: “Calif. Supreme Court to hear #Prop8 case with expedited schedule. Oral arguments as soon as Sept 2011."

Supporters of the marriage ban were challenging a lower court's ruling that struck down the law last August as unconstitutional because it violated equal protection guarantees. State officials, including then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Attorney General Jerry Brown, refused to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling. A supporters group appealed the ruling after the state refused to do so.

article placeholder

NOH8 photo campaign visits Atlanta

The popular NOH8 Campaign comes to Atlanta on MLK Day 2011

The photography campaign that has spawned nearly 6,000 photos of celebrities and every day people with duct tape across their mouths and “NOH8” painted on their faces began two years ago in an L.A. apartment at about 3 a.m.

Photographer Adam Bouska and his partner, Jeff Parshley, were devastated when California voters approved Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, in the November 2008 election. The two men felt silenced in their home state and wanted to do something to protest Prop 8.

“It was natural we come up with a plan to use photographs … this was on everyone’s mind and we were looking for ways to get involved,” Bouska said in an interview from his L.A. home as he prepares for a Jan. 16 NOH8 photo shoot in Atlanta.

article placeholder

Federal appeals panel wants ruling on who can fight for Prop 8

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to defend Prop 8 in court

A 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel surprised many Proposition 8 observers Jan. 4 when it suddenly issued five documents relating to the case.

But there was no decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark case testing whether voters in California violated the U.S. Constitution when they amended the state constitution to ban marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

The bottom line of the documents was that the three-judge panel that heard arguments in an appeal of the case punted a critical question regarding legal standing to the California Supreme Court.

article placeholder

Federal judges send Prop 8 back to Calif. Supreme Court

A three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the federal court will not determine the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, before the court knows whether or not the law’s backers have the legal right to defend the ban.

According to the Associated Press:

In a brief order filed Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to decide if the backers of ballot propositions can step in to defend voter-approved measures in court when state officials refuse to do so.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to appeal a lower court’s ruling that Prop 8 violated the civil rights of LGBT Californians. Backers of the ban stepped in to defend the district court's ruling before the 9th Circuit, who will now defer the issue to the state's Supreme Court.

article placeholder

Prop 8 lawyer says ‘marriage is most important right’ on ‘Colbert Report’

Last night on “The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert,” attorney David Boies sat down for an interview with host Stephen Colbert after a segment on the ongoing legal battle over the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

Boies, along with attorney Ted Olson, have argued that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of free speech and due process. They represent two sets of plaintiffs suing the state over the ban.

A federal appeals court heard arguments last week after a district judge ruled the ban unconstitutional. The appeals court ruling is expected early in the New Year.