Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lawyers Challanging Prop 8 to LGBT Groups: "Thanks, but no thanks."

When attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies filed a lawsuit in federal court in May to overturn California's voter initiative, Proposition 8, which was upheld by the California Supreme Court, LGBT groups, criticized the action, saying that the federal and supreme courts were unlikely to rule in favor of same sex marriage at this time.

The San Fransisco Chronicle reported Sunday that the groups, which include the ACLU, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the City of San Francisco, wanted in on the lawsuit after months of public criticism. Lawyers for the groups petitioned the court on Friday to be included in the effort to overturn Prop 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

From the Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle:
"Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which launched the suit, sent a letter in July accusing the advocacy groups of undermining the case in public and private comments and asking them not to intervene.

Nevertheless, the groups filed a motion to intervene that month, arguing that they represented a more diverse community of same-sex couples than did the two couples represented in the suit. San Francisco also moved to intervene.

Olson and Boies suggested Friday that if the court allowed any intervention, it should grant San Francisco's request. But the other advocacy groups, the lawyers argued, should be limited at most to roles as "friends of the court," - allowed to offer opinions, but shut out from decisions on how the case should be pursued.

"Having declined to bring their own federal challenge to Prop. 8," they wrote, the advocacy groups "should not be allowed to usurp Plaintiffs' lawsuit."

Attorneys for the city and the advocacy groups have note yet filed their responses to the opposition to intervention."

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