FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 9, 2004
(San Francisco, CA, June 9, 2004) — Ruling from the bench after extensive oral argument, Superior Court Judge Kramer held that he would recommend that all of the lawsuits related to the right to marry for same-sex couples in California be coordinated. Judge Kramer's recommendation will be forwarded to the Judicial Council, which will make a final decision about whether coordination will be granted.
In recomending that coordination be granted, Judge Kramer stressed the need to allow the constitutionality of excluding same-sex couples from marriage to be decided without undue delay. Judge Kramer also clarified that his ruling does not affect the stays that currently are in place on all of the marriage-related cases except for the lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU on behalf of ten same-sex couples, Our Family Coalition, and Equality California and the action filed by the City and County of San Francisco. Both of these actions seek declarations that excluding same-sex couples from the right to marry violates the California Constitution. These two actions were previously consolidated.
"We are pleased that the court recognized the need to allow our case to move forward," said Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "The procedures outlined by Judge Kramer will allow us to move forward in an efficient and expeditious manner, and that has always been our goal. Our clients are being harmed every day by their exclusion from the right to marry. They deserve to have their claims resolved as soon as possible."
NCLR's co-counsel in Woo v. Lockyer include Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Stephen V. Bomse, Richard DeNatale, and Hilary Ware of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, David C. Codell of the Law Office of David C. Codell, and Clyde J. Wadsworth and Dena L. Narbaitz of Steefel, Levitt & Weiss.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.