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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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National anti-gay marriage group claims bias in Prop 8 hearing

The National Organization for Marriage released a statement regarding the federal appeals court hearing on California’s Proposition 8 yesterday, decrying the court panel as biased.

The anti-gay group is up-in-arms over the inclusion of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, whose wife works with the American Civil Liberties Union and has been involved in the case through her role at the ACLU. Reinhardt was one of three judges who sat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during yesterday's hearing.

"This hearing makes a mockery of the federal judiciary," said Brian Brown, president of NOM, in an internet posting. "Citizens are entitled to a guarantee of impartiality from their judiciary. Yet here we have the spectacle of a federal appeals court justice ruling on a case in which his wife represents a group that is a participant. A cynic would be left to wonder if the fix is in for marriage in the Ninth Circuit."

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Federal appeals court hears arguments in Calif. marriage fight

Attorney Ted Olson argued against California's Prop 8

SAN FRANCISCO — Famed attorney Ted Olson told a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel Dec. 6 that the reason proponents of Proposition 8 have proffered to justify their ban on same-sex marriage is “nonsense.”

That reason, said Olson, reading from a page in the argument brief filed by attorneys for the Yes on 8 coalition, which promoted passage of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, was that same-sex marriage “will make children prematurely preoccupied with issues of sexuality.”

“If believed,” said Olson, “that would justify the banning of comic books, television, video games, and even conversations between children.”

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California’s Prop 8 battle over gay marriage in court today

A federal court of appeals will hear two hours of oral arguments today regarding California’s Proposition 8, the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, according to the Associated Press.

Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled in August that Prop 8 violated the constitutional rights of gay Californians, but a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 16 that gay marriages cannot resume in California until after the court hears an appeal from the groups who fought to uphold Prop 8.

“[T]he exclusion [of same-sex couples from marriage] exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage,” wrote Walker in August. “That time has passed.”

The case has since been appealed, though Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to defend the case. Supporters of Prop 8 have had to hire legal representation to defend the measure.

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Prop 8 update: No gay marriage in Calif. until at least Dec.

Georgians gather to support Prop 8 ruling

In an historic, potent, and eloquent decision, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Aug. 4 that California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process of law.

But a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 16 that gay marriages cannot resume in California until after the court hears an appeal from the groups who fought to uphold Proposition 8. The appeals court scheduled an expedited hearing on the appeal for the week of Dec. 6, and ordered the sides to address the issue of who has standing to appeal the ballot measure that barred gay couples from marrying in California.

While the delay dashed hopes that same-sex couples would resume marrying in California as early as this month, Walker’s opinion still represents the first major victory for legal challenges against state bans on same-sex marriage in any federal court.