Monday, November 17, 2008

The Lawsuits Against Prop 8 - should we keep the fight at a state level?

Unite the Fight! asked Brad Parr, an attorney in Beverly Hills, to write a guest post explaining the content of the four lawsuits filed against Prop 8, how the California constitution supports their arguments, and why he thinks we should keep the battle for same-sex marriage at a state level and not bring it to the federal level . . . for now.

We have posted his explanation in four images below, left to right.

I asked Brad about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Even if we win in California, as long as DOMA remains, we are still second-class citizens because we won't get federal benefits. He responded:

"I believe that DOMA's unconstitutional. Period. Full Faith and Credit can't be selectively applied (very quickly: the Constitution mandates full faith and credit but states that Congress will decide how it's implemented. Pro-DOMA people say that this lets Congress decide what gets full faith and credit; that can't be right. It's an enabling clause and it doesn't let Congress decide exceptions. This hasn't been litigated against but I think it's a huge danger to federalism if the Court comes out the wrong way.)

I also, however, agree with the point that as long as DOMA is on the books, we won't be fully equal, and there will be a host of federal benefits unavailable to us even if we get it at a state level. I just don't think it's time to go there, at least, through the courts. Obama could, however, do a lot of good for us from a legislative point of view."

Brad did offer a glimmer of hope for the judicial process, referring to an article published today in the Los Angeles Times. You can read it here

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