Monday, January 11, 2010

Prop 8 challenge hinges on proving "Suspect Class" status

Pro and anti-Proposition 8 protesters rally as...Image via Wikipedia
An article posted by over the weekend provides a fascinating look at how attorneys challenging California's Prop 8 intend to present our case:
What do gay political icon Harvey Milk, anti-gay marriage activist Maggie Gallagher, controversial military contractor Blackwater, and the Walibiri aborigines of Central Australia have in common?

All are cited in the 3,001 exhibits filed by supporters of California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, for inclusion in the trial challenging that law. The trial begins Monday, January 11, in a federal district court in San Francisco. The exhibits provide a glimpse into the strategy that conservative attorney Charles Cooper and his team will use to defend the California law that voters passed in November 2008.

One major focus of the exhibits encompasses the legal question of whether gay men and lesbians are a “suspect class”—that is, whether discrimination against them is so common that there is a reason to suspect that laws that treat them differently are based on that discrimination. In its 1996 decision Romer v. Evans, examining the motives behind an anti-gay ballot measure in Colorado, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped short of identifying sexual orientation as a suspect classification, but it did rule that laws based on animus toward gay people violate the federal constitution."
Read the full story here.

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