Karen Ocamb

Reactions to Prop 8 court decision

Filed By Karen Ocamb | May 27, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom, Gloria Molina, John A Perez, Prop 8, Rick Jacobs, Robert Gibbs, Ron Buckmire, Shannon Minter

The reactions to the California Supreme Court decision upholding Prop 8 continue to pour in.

Here are some highlights:

Whte House spokesperson Robert Gibbs:

"I have not talked to the president about it. I think the issues that ... the issues involved are ones that you know where the President stands."

More below -

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein:

"I know today's decision is a tremendous disappointment for many people. But I also know that the opinions of Californians are changing on this issue, and I believe that equal marriage rights will one day be the law in this state. This is already the case in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. So, I believe this issue will come before the voters again, and I am very hopeful that the result will be different next time.

Today's State Supreme Court ruling also declares that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that have already taken place in California are valid, and I believe these marriages will allow people to see for themselves that marriage equality is a step forward for California and not a step back."

Openly gay California Assemblymember John Perez, 46th AD

Assemblyman_-John_Perez.jpg"First, I join my colleagues, my fellow LGBT Caucus members, and millions of Californians, and indeed the millions of people across the US with their eyes fixed on our state, in expressing my disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8..... Sadly, a court that was with us a year ago is unable to be with us today. I am heartened by Justice Moreno's dissenting opinion and his eloquent words that "even a narrow and limited exception to the promise of full equality strikes at the core of...the guarantee of equal treatment."...

As disappointing as the Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 is, we must remember that it marks one moment in a long struggle. I do not feel deterred today. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice."....

As Harvey Milk intimately understood, our fate is in our hands, and we win only when we work for it. We also need to remember that although marriage is an important goal, it's not the be-all and end-all of our movement. The battle against inequality has many fronts.....

We are fighting for the dream shared by any oppressed minority: to be free to live one's life without unjust interference; to be treated with dignity and respect; to be equal in the eyes of others.

Regardless of the Court's decision today, we have a responsibility to the People of California--especially those who are hurt by this proposition--to continue the fight and achieve full equality for all.....In the Labor community, we have a dictum for how we win: "Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and organize." So let's get to work.

Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

The decision is a terrible blow to the thousands of Californians who woke up this morning hoping and praying their status as equal citizens of this state would be restored. The court's decision has crushed those hopes and made it painfully clear that we must go back to the voters to restore equality. The majority opinion upheld prop 8 only through tortured logic that ignored its prior recognition that same sex couples and their children are entitled to full equality under the law. No group should have its right to equality put up for a majority vote. And yet that is what the Court permitted in its decision today. That holding has set a dangerous precedent that endangers the most basic principle of our democracy - the right to equal protection of the laws. As Justice Moreno wrote in his dissent, "denying gays and lesbians the right to marry, by wrenching minority rights away from judicial protection and subjecting them instead to a majority vote, attacks the very core of the equal protection principle."

This is a sad day for California and especially for all the parents who must now explain to their children why their family is not considered equal. But the path before us is now clear. In the days ahead, all those who care about fairness -- and especially same-sex couples and their friends and family members -- must give voters in California a chance get beyond their fears and help them know and understand our families. Today's decision was a painful setback, but if we stay united and reach out with love and respect, we will prevail.

Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California:

"Shame on California. Shame on California! We are deeply disappointed by the California Supreme Court's cowardly decision today, which for the first time in our state's history permits a majority of voters in a single election to strip a fundamental constitutional right from a minority group that has historically been discriminated against. It will take time, determination and a united effort to overturn Proposition 8, but we have all those things, and we will use them to full advantage."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom:

"Today we must turn anger into action.

It's cold comfort to many that history is moving in the right direction, with five states already on their way to marriage equality. But it's our job to make sure history moves faster towards equality here in California.??We must redouble our efforts in California to finally win this fight for equal rights. Please, take a moment today and lend your voice to this just cause.??

Sign our petition for marriage equality.??Join the tireless efforts of the Courage Campaign and Equality California.??Let's be respectful. But let's be clear. We must start changing minds today. I know many of my fellow Californians may initially agree with this ruling, but I ask them to reserve final judgment until they have discussed this decision with someone who will be affected by it. ??

Please talk to a lesbian or gay family member, neighbor or co-worker and ask them why equality in the eyes of the law is important to every Californian. Please talk to local business leaders who know that this will cost jobs and make California less competitive. Please remember we all know someone who is hurt by this decision. Please reach out to these friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors and discuss why this decision is wrong for California.?

?California, at its best, is a beacon of equal rights and equal opportunities. If we want to prosper together, we must respect one another.??That's why we must resolve to restore marriage equality to all Californians. Let this work start today. Sign our petition and join the efforts of the Courage Campaign and Equality California.? ?Sincerely, ??Gavin Newsom??PS - Lend your voice to the cause of marriage equality. Sign our petition and join the efforts of the Courage Campaign and Equality California.

LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina:

"It is a sad day for all Californians when, with the California Supreme Court's consent, discrimination is enshrined in our Constitution. I am, however, heartened that the Court has rightly upheld as valid the marriages of same sex couples that occurred prior to the election. I believe this constitutional amendment will be overturned, and as has occurred elsewhere in our nation, the recognition of the fundamental rights of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, will once again be recognized in our California Constitution."

Lorri Jean, CEO of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center:

I am here to send a message to the fair-minded people in our state and to those on the other side--those who want California to be a bastion of bigotry and discrimination. Mark my words--today's decision is not the end of this fight. We WILL overturn Prop 8. We WILL ensure that "liberty and justice for all" is a reality in our state once more.

Tonight we take to the streets, all over the city and the state and across the nation and even the world. But tomorrow we must continue doing the hard work that is necessary to change the minds of enough voters so that we can succeed the next time we go to the ballot box. On Sunday the Center's Vote For Equality project, with 100's of volunteers, will be hitting the precincts, talking to yes voters, doing what will be necessary for us to overturn Prop 8. We invite everyone to join us.

Tomorrow President Barack Obama is visiting Los Angeles. The President opposed Prop 8. He also has promised to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that federal law treats same-sex couples equally, no matter whether our relationships are marriages, domestic partnership or civil unions. I am calling on the President to live up to his promises and to do everything he can to stop discrimination under federal law and treat same-sex couples equally with regard to all federal rights and benefits.

Finally, I want to thank everyone here for their leadership in this fight, including City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. I also bring greetings from the incoming City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who opposed Prop 8 and who asked me to assure everyone that he is with us on this issue and fully supports the freedom to marry. It will take all of our allies and more to overturn today's travesty of justice. If we work together, I know we can succeed.

Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs:

"While the tide is turning nationally, restoring marriage equality to California will not be easy. But we know in our hearts that time is on our side, that justice will prevail, and that equality will be ours.

Last week, we asked our members to vote on which year -- 2010 or 2012 -- the Courage Campaign should support going back to the ballot to restore marriage equality. The response was overwhelming -- 82.5% support a 2010 ballot measure," said Jacobs. "As a result, the Courage Campaign is announcing today its strong support for a 2010 initiative, while respecting that partner organizations are still discussing and deliberating this very important question.

While we were hoping the Court would rule in favor of equality, we have been building the infrastructure to win marriage equality rights at the ballot box. Our members are ready to do the hard work needed to win."

The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition Board Chair Ron Buckmire:

"While we celebrate the decision of the Court to uphold marriages by same-sex couples performed before November 4, 2008, JRC will continue to work to secure marriage equality so that once again same-sex couples will be able to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as all other married couples in California."

Andrew Pugno, General Counsel of ProtectMarriage.com

pugno.jpg"We are very gratified that the California Supreme Court has upheld Proposition 8. This is the culmination of years of hard work to preserve marriage in California. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers worked diligently to uphold the institution of marriage. Twice, voters have decided that marriage in California should be only between a man and a woman. We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has acknowledged the right of voters to define marriage in the California Constitution. The voters have decided this issue and their views should be respected."


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An amazing collection of voices speaking out on the injustice of Prop 8. Just that much more the pity that most of these voices (notably excepting Shannon Minter) are dead silent when it's transgender people being denied our rights.

Where were these kinds of statements when New Hampshire denied basic civil rights to its transgender citizens? Where was the outrage? Oh wait, I know...these people were too busy celebrating marriage moving forward in that state to be bothered speaking out against the discrimination imposed on their transgender sisters and brothers.

Sad, but all too predictable.

Yes, and we will continue to remind people of this, and not let it drop. I expect that will irritate a lot of people. Tough. Because it's GLBT not GLB. Trans people can be left out, but we won't be silenced.

Now that they've been reminded, let's get back to the issue at hand. Because it's GLBT. We can be left out, but we won't be silenced.

We will not let this drop. I expect that will irritate a lot of people. Tough.

Goodness Becky....they told you they's be back for you later, as recently as...say 2002 in New York.

CBrachyrhynchos | May 27, 2009 1:41 PM

Re Gibbs:

Good grief. What does it take to get the White House on the record on any of the LGBT rights issues making the headlines?

CailleanMcM CailleanMcM | May 27, 2009 3:56 PM

I honestly do not think that the people of Utah-on-the-Pacific will drastically shift their positions on this by 2010, as the Right has been in media mode to keep support up for sustaining Prop 8

Plus, until we tie organisations like NOM to their unspoken goals, things that their board members have embraced like re-criminalization and fight just as hard, public opionion will continue to hover around the 50-50 mark.

As for the White House, well, God is in the mix and God doesn't like any of us. At least their God doesn't.