Monday, March 22, 2010

Recent news and commentary

Perry v. Schwarzenneger

Last week, plaintiffs' attorney Steve Bomse tried to convince Judge Walker that he should overturn a discovery order by Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero. Spero's order requires the ACLU and Equality California, among other organizations, to produce certain types communications during their 2008 campaign against Prop. 8. As Bomse tried to make his argument, Walker walked out of the court room. (Cal Law Legal Pad) So it's hardly surprising that Walker has decided to uphold the order. (LGBT POV / AP / San Jose Mercury News) An appeal may follow of Walker's decision.

Jordan Lorence is Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, and represents the Prop. 8 proponents. He told the NY Times that "there should not have been a trial.” But "having a trial," said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case, "is precisely the process that has been used time and time again throughout American history to decide landmark civil rights cases." (NY Times) Charles Cooper, lead counsel for Prop. 8 proponents, claimed that "we can’t find that any of the marriage cases, the dozen or so that have proceeded around the country, actually submitted issues of fact to trial." Evan Wolfson commented on Cooper's claim. Wolfson represented same-sex couples in the seminal Hawai'i litigation that tested, at trial, the constitutionality of the state's marriage ban. (Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 530, 852 P.2d 44 (1993), and Baehr v. Miike, No.91-1394-05, 1996 WL 694235). "There is a lot of déjà vu here," Wolfson said. "In the 14 years since Hawaii, the anti-gay forces have not come up with a good argument."

Developments abroad

"Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva has said he forwarded a gay marriage bill to the nation’s Constitutional Court because he has 'doubts' about its constitutionality, Portugal’s Jornal de Noticias reported." (On Top Magazine, cross-posted by Gay Marriage Watch) "On 13 March, Cavaco Silva sent it to the Constitutional Court for review, and the court must act on the review by 8 April. The bill then will return to the president, who will have 20 more days to mull it over. If he signs it, it becomes law. If he vetoes it, Parliament is expected to pass it again, which would then force Cavaco Silva to sign it." (Pink Paper, cross-posted by Gay Marriage Watch)

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