Court: No Expedited Prop. 8 Hearing

BY Neal Broverman

March 01 2011 8:45 PM ET

The same day California's attorney general asked the ninth circuit court of appeals to allow same-sex marriages to immediately commence in the state, California's supreme court refused to expedite a hearing crucial to the marriage ban being lifted.

An appeal is pending of federal judge Vaughn Walker's decision that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in August 2010. The ninth circuit appeals court has asked the California supreme court to decide whether plaintiffs in the appeal — antigay groups like ProtectMarriage.com — have standing to defend Prop. 8 under state law, since California's governor and attorney general refuse to defend it. The California supreme court's hearing on the matter is not scheduled until September — groups including the Courage Campaign and the American Foundation for Equal Rights have urged the hearing be expedited to May.

On Tuesday the California supreme court denied the formal motion for moving up the hearing, which was filed by American Foundation attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson. 

Courage Campaign chairman Rick Jacobs issued the following statement: "Every minute of state-sanctioned discrimination is a minute too long. The California supreme court’s decision to put its own summer vacation plans before the lives of thousands of California families is an outrage, and it must not be allowed to stand.

"Thousands of loving couples have waited decades for the chance to exercise their constitutionally protected right to the recognition and security that only comes with marriage. Now, while these same families see a light at the end of their long struggle for equality, the courts are dithering, and hundreds of these same families are facing new struggles like terminal illness and the prospect of never — no matter what the eventual outcome of this case — being able to exercise the freedoms they have sought for so long.

"With Proposition 8 already ruled unconstitutional in federal court, it is imperative that the ninth circuit court of appeals immediately lift the stay on enforcement of this decision so that families like Riverside’s Derence Kernek and Ed Phillips — together for 40 years but now waging a battle against Alzheimer’s Disease — are able to marry before it’s too late. I challenge the California supreme court — or any court for that matter — to tell Derence or Ed that they have not yet earned that right."



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