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Prop. 8 Opponent Joins White House Staff

Prop. 8 Opponent Joins White House Staff


Kristina Schake, a cofounder of the organization behind a federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, has been tapped as first lady Michelle Obama's communications director, the White House announced Monday.

Schake, a board member for the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a founding partner of Griffin Schake consulting firm, based in Los Angeles, will leave both positions in her new role as special assistant to the president and communications director for Mrs. Obama, who highlighted Schake's experience in childhood nutrition and public health issues in a Monday statement.

"Kristina has done extensive work throughout her career on child nutrition and community health issues, and that paired with her experience as part of a military family will bring invaluable insight to our work on childhood obesity and our efforts to support military families," Michelle Obama said.

The position begins on December 6, according to Chad Griffin, AFER cofounder and board president.

"Kristina was instrumental in the conception of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and she's played a key role in every strategic success we've had as an organization," Griffin said. "She's one of the most intelligent and valuable resources the equality movement has ever seen. We're sad to see her go but [we're] extremely proud of where she's headed."

The legal team organized by AFER, led by former U.S. solicitor general Ted Olson and trial attorney David Boies, faces its next hurdle in the Prop. 8 lawsuit next month, when oral arguments are heard by a three-judge panel of the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.

Supporters of the anti-marriage equality ballot measure, joined by a socially conservative county in Southern California, will argue two main points: that they have standing to appeal the case and that a federal judge erred in striking down Prop. 8 as unconstitutional in August.

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