At 9AM Tuesday, March 4th, the California Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the most important case for marriage equality in California history. Click on READ MORE for the story…
Equality California, fifteen same-sex couples and Our Family Coalition are represented at oral arguments by Shannon Price Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. NCLR serves as co-counsel for the plaintiffs, along with Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, Heller Ehrman LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell.
From Equality California:
I am writing to you from the California Supreme Court, where I just had the privilege and honor of witnessing history in the making.
For the past three hours, the highest court in the most populous state in the nation engaged in a spirited discussion. Our lawyers debated with those who oppose our equality about whether we should or should not be afforded the same rights, obligations and dignity that heterosexual individuals have.
Equality California , and each of you as our members, was brilliantly represented by Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. I cannot put in words how fortunate we are to have such amazing legal counsel, including attorneys from NCLR, ACLU, Lambda Legal, Heller Ehrman, LLC and the Law Office of David Codell. Shannon argued passionately and persuasively, as did Therese Stewart with the City of San Francisco and the other attorneys representing our community.
Shannon and Therese eloquently made the case that domestic partnership is not equal to marriage and does not conform to the California Constitution’s mandate of equality.
The State tried to argue that this inferior, separate and unequal status is somehow sufficient, that providing us with less-than equality was somehow actually equality, and that discrimination could be justified by tradition. Then, the right wing, anti-LGBT organizations did their usual hateful and mean-spirited song and dance, arguing against all evidence that we are inferior parents and should be denied our rights. Shannon and Terry did a terrific job rebutting the arguments of the State of California and the right-wing groups.
If you did not watch the broadcast, an archive will be available online at www.calchannel.com.
The core of this case is about whether we, as LGBT individuals, should be allowed to marry the person we choose, or whether the government gets to make that decision for us. It is about whether we will finally be afforded true equality under California law.
For the past 10 years, EQCA has worked tirelessly to advance our rights to the place they are today. Sometime in the next 90 days, the California Supreme Court will determine whether we are entitled to true equality and whether we will each have the freedom to marry the person we love.
Based on the arguments made today in court, I am very hopeful for a joyful summer.
Geoff Kors Executive Director Equality California