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Legal Daily News Feature

Yet Another Go Round for Proposition 8 By Rebecca E. Neely The controversial saga surrounding Proposition 8 - the law passed in November 2008 that banned gay marriage in California continues.

09/08/11 In this go round, according to the September 6th latimes.com blog, ‘’State justices seem to favor allowing proponents to defend Prop. 8’’, the ‘’California Supreme Court appeared inclined Tuesday to give sponsors of ballot initiatives the right to defend them in court’’. Essentially, this will enable supporters of Prop 8 to appeal the 2010 ruling that overruled the ballot measure. A little history, per the September 6th mercurynews.com article, ‘’California Supreme Court tackles gay marriage case again’’: Last year, former San Francisco Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled against Prop 8; he found it ‘’violated the federal equal protection rights of same-sex couples.’’ Supporters of Prop 8 then appealed the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Because both Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris agreed with Walker’s ruling, they had to take this action on their own. The 9th Circuit then tasked the state Supreme Court to find, under California law, whether backers of ballot initiatives permits them to defend them in such situations. Per the mercurynews.com article, ‘’Under ordinary circumstances, courts require a direct stake in the outcome of a legal controversy to qualify for legal standing, a standard muddied in the Proposition 8 case by the usual role of state officials to handle the defense of state laws.’’ So, what’s next? ProtectMarriage.com, a diverse group of nearly 100,000 Californians who, according to information at their website, ‘’have joined together to defend and restore the definition of

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marriage as between a man and a woman’’, will now come under the scrutiny of a federal appeals court, to determine if the group ‘’has standing to appeal that order in federal court’’, according to the mercurynews.com article. Per the blog, what happens next seems to be getting a bit too ‘Lewis Carroll’: ‘’the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California court to rule on the status of initiative sponsors in state court; the California court’s decision is likely to influence the 9th Circuit’s decision on whether ProtectMarriage has standing in federal court.’’ If it’s found that ProtectMarriage will not have the right to appeal, the district court’s order making Proposition 8 unconstitutional will remain intact. The continued controversy brings heavy hitters to the tables, for both sides of the issue. Those opposing gay marriage include former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, and the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative, Christian, nonprofit organization that, according to information at its website, ‘’provides the resources that will keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel through the legal defense of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and the family.’’ Those in support of gay marriage include legal powerhouse Theodore Olson. He was quoted as saying in the mercurynews. com article: ‘’This unconstitutional harm has gone on for too long.’’ Indeed, the issue of gay marriage, as well as the shifting legal landscape on which it rests, and the outcomes will have a far reaching impact for all involved, for now, and for many years to come.

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Yet Another Go Round for Proposition 8