(San Francisco, CA, May 26, 2009)—Today, following the ruling of the California Supreme Court in Strauss v. Horton, the LGBTQ community’s challenge to Proposition 8 brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the ACLU, lead petitioners Karen Strauss and Ruth Borenstein released the following statement:

Karen Strauss:

“I would give anything to be in different circumstances that would allow me to be with you today. Instead, I am at my mother’s bedside in Florida. Her poor health – a major impediment to Ruth’s and my wedding plans last year – has taken the turn our family has been dreading; she is now under hospice care. The opportunity for her to witness my marriage has gone forever. My heart, already on the verge of breaking, has just been dealt an irreparable blow. I was so hoping the court would find its way to a decision that continues, rather than repeals, our equality under the law and that would allow our family to celebrate the love Ruth and I have shared for nearly 18 years. I will continue to work with our large and diverse community toward the day when Ruth and I and any other same-sex couple can marry in California. I will celebrate when that day comes – but when it does, know that the tears of joy that will run down my face will also be tears of great loss and sorrow.”


Ruth Borenstein:

“I am 52 years old. In my lifetime, I have had equal rights for exactly four and one-half months. That is not enough. That brief period came at a particularly difficult time for my and my partner’s aging parents, who could not travel to California before the November election. We chose to wait rather than to have a wedding without our beloved parents there to celebrate with us. Now it is too late. While I am confident that the voters ultimately will overturn Prop 8 and restore our equal rights, having to wait comes at a tremendous personal cost to us and our parents. We’ve already lost my dad and Karen’s mom is in precarious health. This ruling is a devastating disappointment to us and our surviving parents, who had hoped to share our joy at our long- awaited wedding.”

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. NCLR is lead counsel in In re Marriage Cases. www.nclrights.org/

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. http://www.lambdalegal.org/

The American Civil Liberties Union is America’s foremost advocate of individual rights. It fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBTQ rights through the courts, legislatures and public education. http://www.aclu.org/

Equality California Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. http://www.eqca.org/