It's all about Love, Honor, Cherish today. The grassroots organization issued the following press release:
LGBT ACTIVISTS MAKE UNIQUE ARGUMENT TO CALIF. SUPREME COURT
January 16, 2009 -- Love Honor Cherish, a grass roots organization dedicated to repealing Proposition 8, is using a unique argument in a brief it filed yesterday with the California Supreme Court.
The brief joins many others in support of a lawsuit filed after the election by Equality California, ACLU, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. That lawsuit seeks to overturn Prop 8 by arguing that a fundamental right like marriage cannot be taken away from a targeted minority by a simple majority vote on a constitutional amendment. Instead, the lawsuit argues, to make such a drastic change the Constitution should have gone through the “revision” process – which takes more time and requires the state legislature to approve the proposed change before it is put on the ballot.
“While most of the other friend-of-the-court briefs are focusing on the differences between amending and revising the Constitution, ours explains the effect the election process had on gay and lesbian Californians,” said John Henning, Executive Director of Love Honor Cherish. “The process itself diminished us and our relationships.”
The brief argues that gays and lesbians were harmed because gay couples were forced to decide whether and when to get married based on the looming vote on a ballot proposition -- something straight couples have never had to do -- and because the dignity of existing marriages was devalued by the specter of Prop 8.
“The mere fact that Proposition 8 was on the ballot deprived gay and lesbian couples of the equality this Court held they deserved,” the brief argues. “These indignities do violence to the principles on which our constitutional system of government was founded.”
Henning said the Court should rule that damaging campaigns about fundamental rights like Prop 8 should not be allowed.
“The Court can prevent this kind of harm in the future only if they invalidate Prop 8 now,” he said.
While the brief filed yesterday will help the chances that the California Supreme Court overturns Prop 8, Henning said that because of the critical importance of restoring marriage rights for gay and lesbian Californians, the gay community and its allies need to prepare now for a ballot initiative in 2010 that would repeal Prop 8.
“If the Supreme Court rules against us and there is to be a new ballot campaign in November 2010, people have to be ready on the ground this summer to start collecting petition signatures,” Henning said. “The Court most likely will not rule before summer, so if we wait for them to rule before starting to prepare, we’ll be too late.”
Love Honor Cherish is committed to preparing for a 2010 ballot initiative, educating the public about the freedom to marry and building alliances with other organizations and individuals. The group formed in May 2008 to work against Prop 8 and raised over half a million dollars for the No on 8 campaign. At the same time, Love Honor Cherish mounted its own outreach and media efforts, with a strong focus on speaking the truth about marriage and developing a new generation of leaders around the issue. For more information visit LoveHonorCherish.org
The brief was filed on behalf of Love Honor Cherish by the law firm of Bate Peterson Deacon Zinn & Young, LLP. A copy of the brief is available on the Love Honor Cherish website.