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Prop. 8 legal case means another referendum in California unlikely in 2012

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Later today, at noon ET/9 AM PT, a federal judge in San Francisco will hear motion to overturn the Prop. 8 case because Judge Walker has a boyfriend. It's another pathetic, last-ditch effort by the increasingly desperate haters to thwart equality. Ted Olson and David Boies will be in the court room defending the Prop. 8 decision. We're still waiting for the California Supreme Court to answer the standing question (there's a hearing in September) before we get a decision from the Ninth Circuit. Yeah, it's procedurally complicated. But, the ultimate goal is a win for equality in the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the NY Times, the federal case involving Prop. 8 is preventing movement on a 2012 marriage referendum in California.

But with a pending federal court case showing promise and major donors reluctant to step forward, it is unlikely that California voters will revisit same-sex marriage anytime soon.

“I’m not aware of a single donor who would support a ballot measure campaign,” said Chad Griffin, the co-founder and board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “A ballot would be unwise, foolish and, in fact, dangerous.”

That danger, according to several leaders in the gay community, comes from the potential impact that a failed effort in 2012 could have on the federal case, which was brought in 2009 by Mr. Griffin’s group. Mr. Griffin, an experienced fund-raiser, hired the high-powered legal team of David Boies and Theodore B. Olson to pursue a constitutional challenge to the law, and last August, a federal judge — Vaughn R. Walker of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California — sided with opponents of Proposition 8, finding that the voter-approved law violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

But the legal machinations continue on several fronts: Judge Walker’s decision has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and on Monday, there will be a hearing before another district court judge regarding a motion to vacate Judge Walker’s decision because of his sexual orientation. (Judge Walker, who retired in February, is gay.)

Regardless of how the lower courts rule, most legal analysts believe the Boies-Olson case will eventually be decided by the United States Supreme Court. No one seems to want anything to happen outside the courtroom to prejudice judges at any level.
I agree with that strategy. We've already got one referendum on the ballot in Minnesota. I'd rather take my chances with Olson and Boies than go the voters again. We know that public opinion is increasingly on our side. But, I don't think we need the risk right now. It would be a very, very, very expensive gamble -- and too risky, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm in the Bay Area and hope to attend the Olson-Boies press conference after today's hearing.

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