Prop 8 Trial Set, Gay Groups Excluded

A federal judge has set January 11th, 2010 as the start of the Olsen/Boies suit to overturn Proposition 8. The ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lambda Legal were all denied in their request to be a party to the action. The judge did allow San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera to take part, but only to assess Prop 8’s impact on local governments.

Protect Marriage exults:

As the only party to Perry v Schwarzenegger that has consistently fought to preserve Prop.8, we are pleased with Judge Walker’s decision to deny intervenor status to Campaign for California Families, the Our Family Coalition, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The motions for intervenor status clearly demonstrate the discord and disagreement that exists among gay activists as they continue to run roughshod in their efforts to overturn the will of the people in regards to upholding traditional marriage in California.

The ACLU complains:

On behalf of our clients, we are disappointed that the court did not permit organizations that represent California’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to participate in the case as the Court weighs the harms inflicted by Proposition 8. The significance of this case for our entire community is enormous. To exclude the people whose very freedom is at stake is troubling. Our commitment to restoring marriage for all Californians is unwavering, and we will continue to do everything within our power to secure full equality and justice for LGBT people.

Law Dork 2.0 analyzes:

What the intervention rulings mean is that Ted Olson and David Boies, along with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, will be the lawyers now controlling this challenge to Proposition 8, considered by many to be the most broad, grand-scale attack on marriage discrimination of all those brought in recent years. It is not yet clear how Vaughn ruled in terms of whether both plaintiff groups — the AFER plaintiffs and the City Intervenor-Plaintiff — will be responsible for all decisions or whether Walker named one lead plaintiff in the case. The ramifications of an appellate or Supreme Court ruling would have impact far outside California’s borders, with a success for the plaintiffs calling into question other state amendments banning lesbian and gay couples from marrying, as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Dennis Herrera cheers:

We’re gratified that San Francisco has been granted a key role in the federal challenge to Proposition 8. In terms of our unique public sector perspective and the evidence we’ve already developed, we think the City is an extremely well-prepared co-plaintiff in the kind of trial Judge Walker envisions. We are ready to help put anti-gay discrimination on trial based on the facts, and our office has the experience and expertise to aggressively assist in doing exactly that.