It’s been a long time coming, but today we are FINALLY be taking the fight for our rights where it belongs, through the Federal Justice System
Today the federal trial on same-sex marriages in California begins and the result of Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected to affect gay marriage legislation nationwide. We should all watch this trial very closely, because it not just affects Gay’s and Lesbian marriage rights in California but it affects ALL of us not only because Perry v. Schwarzenegger will ask “ultimate question” of whether we have a federal right to marry, but because the case is alleging that Prop. 8 violated the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the federal court decision will have implications for gay Americans in nearly every arena of public life, from housing to parenting to military service. The court is set to consider questions as wide-ranging as what it means to be gay and whether it affects one’s contribution to society. It’s not just marriage rights on trial it’s veing gay itself and where out country holds us in its eyes. And whatever the decision, good or bad we should be ready to act accordingly.
The stakes are high. If Perry v. Schwarzenegger reaches the Supreme Court and Boies and Olson are successful, gays and lesbians nationwide would not only have the right to marry, we stand to gain many of the legal rights they have sought for decades. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would be invalidated, as would employment discrimination against gays and lesbians. In the eyes of the law, gay people would be equal to straight people, and any legislation that discriminated against them could be challenged and easily struck down against this precedent.
Boies and Olson will be arguing that such discriminatory laws are illegal because that we as gay Americans constitute a “suspect class,” such as racial minorities, religious groups, and foreign-born citizens — who qualify for special protection. Laws that target these groups are immediately “suspect” and have to serve a “compelling state interest”. But even if Boies and Olson are not able to establish a suspect classification, there is a Supreme Court precedent against discriminatory laws whose sole motivation is ill will. (In 1996, the court ruled in Romer v. Evans that a Colorado ban on nondiscrimination ordinances was driven solely by anti-gay sentiment and therefore did not have a rational basis.) That’s why Boies and Olson also plan to show that Prop. 8 was motivated by prejudice and also plan to call to the stand the gay couples involded in the suit, experts on the history of sexual discrimination and marriage, and the architects of the ballot measure itself.
Theodore Olson will make the opening argument and David Boies will examine the first witnesses.
The trail will be braidcast with a time delay on YOUTUBE