(San Francisco, CA, June 19, 2009)—The California Supreme Court has issued a modified version of its opinion in the cases challenging Proposition 8, to correct a factual error pointed out in a petition filed by NCLR and our co-counsel (Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and David Codell) and joined by the City and County of San Francisco. The revised opinion clarifies that the racially discriminatory initiative amendment that was challenged on federal constitutional grounds in Mulkey v. Reitman was also challenged, in a companion case, on the alternative ground that it was an unlawful revision to the California constitution (i.e., the same ground upon which we challenged Prop 8). This correction will be helpful to future courts, as the distinction between an amendment and a revision will continue to be an important issue under California law.
We continue to believe the Court was wrong to hold that a majority can selectively strip a right only from a majority, while retaining the right for itself, as Prop 8 did. We hope the Court will reverse that holding and restore the integrity of our state Constitution in a future case. The correction made by the Court today does not change the Court’s holding, but it shows that the only other initiative amendment that took away a right from a minority was also challenged as an improper revision.
The majority opinion also modified its opinion to include New Hampshire among the list of states that have recently enacted legislation permitting same-sex couples to marry.
click here to read ‘A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter Clarifying the Recent Court Filing in the Prop 8 Challenge’ 06.09.09
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.