Flood Of Prop 8 Supporters Petition Appeals Court

Commentary by Boyce Hinman

September 17 was the deadline for the submission of briefs by those who want the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals to overturn Judge Walker's decision on California's Proposition 8.

The latest petitions in support of Proposition 8 came from a variety of religious organizations, conservative legal groups that litigate against gay rights, other conservative groups, individuals, and even one association of health care professionals.


These included groups such as Catholics For the Common Good, a coalition of conservative Christian groups, the Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence, and even the American College of Pediatrics. Thirteen other states also jointly submitted a brief to the appeals court.

Proposition 8 prohibits same sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses in California. Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violates the US Constitution.

As a public service, California Communities United Institute is posting documents, from both sides on this issue, on its web site. Media who are writing articles on the court battle may find it a useful resource. So might groups that are planning their own appeals in opposition to Proposition 8. Even ordinary citizens might find the arguments being presented for or against proposition 8 interesting.

Documents for twenty-two of these appeals have been posted to the web site. By now, roughly 30 briefs have been submitted asking the appeals court to overturn Judge Walker's decision. All of the documents posted to the web site can be read by directing your browser to: www.calcomui.org/prop8courtdocs.html

It is also easy to down load a PDF copy of any of the documents. Here's how. When you have a copy of the document on the screen, choose "File", then choose "Save As", give the file a name, then select a destination on your computer where you want the file saved, and finally click on "Save".

Before the supporters of same sex marriage begin to panic about all the briefs in support of Prop 8, they should consider the following:

- Just because people or groups submit briefs to the court, it does not mean the court must consider their arguments. People appealing a lower court decision must have legal standing to address the court. The briefs of any group that the court thinks does not have standing will end up in the dust bin.

- There are lots of briefs from the opponents of same sex marriage now, because the deadline for these opponents to submit their briefs was September 17. The supporters of same sex marriage have until October 18 to submit their briefs.

- Quality not quantity is important. The ones who win this case at the appeals court level will be those who submit arguments that the Justices find most persuasive.

- And, finally, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has a reputation as a liberal court. That should give hope to the supporters of same sex marriage.

Boyce Hinman is the founder of the California Communities United Institute. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calcomui.org

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