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Sep 12, 2011: Having "Standing" isn't the Same as Winning a Case
A legal skirmish in the Prop 8 case sets the stage for a big victory down the line. Meanwhile, A-list celebs come together to tell the story of the Prop 8 trial. Marriage debate is slated for Monday morning in North Carolina, and Minnesota's newest anti-gay activist comes with some skeletons in his closet.
The Prop 8 Proponents dragged everyone back into court last week for some arguments over legal procedures. They claim that the law gives them special permission to defend Prop 8. But ultimately, either way it doesn't matter. The California Supreme Court will rule on this one technical matter within 90 days, and they may rule that the Proponents have what's called "standing." But what they still don't have is a case.
Whether they have standing or not, Prop 8 is still unconstitutional. And they're still going to lose their appeal.
In fact, the appellate court dealt the Proponents a setback this week, with a ruling in a separate case over discriminatory laws. In that case, Arizona tried to block gay and lesbian citizens from sharing employment benefits with the spouses, but the court ruled that The Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution prevents states from enacting laws simply to harm a politically unpopular group...which is exactly what Prop 8 does.
In other Prop 8 news, more cast were announced for the star-studded reading of Dustin Lance Black's new play, based on the trial last year. The cast of the reading, to be held on September 19, now includes John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown and Larry Kramer, with Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei. Visit afer.org/broadway8 for tickets.
On Monday, North Carolina lawmakers are likely to debate a constitutional amendment that would ban not just marriage, but also civil unions. The measure is opposed by a majority of voters, the NAACP, and the state's major newspapers. Also this week, public safety advocates spoke out against the amendment, saying that similar measures in other states prevented programs from protecting unmarried victims of domestic violence.
It's been a busy week in other states as well. In Minnesota, Republican Representative John Kriesel joined the effort to defeat an anti-gay ballot measure. Kriesel said that a near-death experience while serving in Iraq made him realize the importance of providing legal protections to all American families.
Meanwhile, the backers of the ban hired anti-gay Rhode Island activist Chris Plante to run their campaign. But Plante has a dirty past -- here's a sampling, a recording where he says the children of gay parents are like dogs.
In Maryland, Senator Barbara Mikulski announced that she'll co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, which would overturn the federal ban on marriage. And Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley promised to introduce a bill in 2012 to legalize marriage in that state.
In Colorado, efforts have been scrapped to overturn the state's marriage ban at the ballot box. But a bill is still in play that could provide for marriage legislatively 2012. The bill is sponsored by Representative Mark Ferrandino and Senator Pat Steadman, both openly gay.
And in Uruguay, Representative Sebastian Sabini introduced a marriage equality bill, with debate expected to conclude sometime in 2012.
Those are the headlines, visit us over at MarriageNewsWatch.com for more on all these stories and more. And remember to connect at facebook.com/marriagenewswatch to get breaking stories right on your wall. We'll see you next week.
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