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Prop. 8 Battle: How Did
It Go?

Prop. 8 Battle: How Did
It Go?

Oral Arguments in the fight to invalidate Prop. 8 have concluded. Now the experts weigh in on how it all went.

Oral Arguments in the fight to invalidate Prop. 8 have concluded. And while the California supreme court has 90 days to issue its decision, reached out to Geoff Kors from Equality California and Brad Sears from UCLA's School of Law for their take on today's legal proceedings.

Geoff Kors, executive director, Equality California

How was the hearing from the inside?

There were a lot of questions; they really hit each attorney with a lot of good questions, and through different perspectives. One of the justices was even suggesting marriage for no one, so it was an interesting oral argument.

Were there any particular highlights for you?

I think the attorneys for our side, particularly Shannon Minter and Jenny Stewart, did an amazing job, and they're true heroes for our community. I think they made a really strong case that if Proposition 8 were to stand, all of the rights we gained are up for grabs. And they really highlighted that it's not just about the rights, but the word marriage comes with dignity and respect, and that's what the court ruled [in May 2008]. If the court wants to rewrite what they wrote, it's going to be very difficult. They really brought that argument out to light in a major way.

Do you think we'll hear from the court soon? Some estimates say they are already prepared to rule on Proposition 8.

The court has 90 days. They could decide in weeks, or maybe months, but in the meantime, here in California, this is the battle of our lives -- it's about our history, and we need to be prepared for the outcome. No group has ever lost its rights, and we're hoping that will remain the case.

-Michelle Garcia

Brad Sears, executive director of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law

What is your take on the fate of the 18,000 couples who were married before Prop. 8 passed?

I think it's very clear that almost all of the justices who asked questions about retroactivity indicated that they felt that those marriages should remain validaEUR| There wasn't an indication in the ballot or ballot materials.

Could you get a fair read on any of the justices?

The best read was that particular justices were in strong favor of not overturning Prop. 8, as they had their minds made up already. Kennard and George seemed unsympathetic to our arguments. Kennard firmly stated her position -- that she feels this is a distinct caseaEUR|that today's issue was different. I read Kennard's heavy engagement today, and it came across forcefully, but very careful throughout the argumentsaEUR| It's hard to sayaEUR| I think it's not over yet.

Which side had the better arguments?

What was easier about our side was that we had one compelling argument -- to protect the rights of an oppressed minority group against the majority. We had a great team that met with unsympathetic opposition.

-Rhiza Dizon

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