Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

(San Francisco, CA, January 04, 2011)—Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Imperial County’s attempt to intervene in the federal court challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California. The Ninth Circuit also asked the California Supreme Court to clarify whether the group that placed Prop 8 on the ballot has a legal right to appeal Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court must now decide whether to accept or decline the Ninth Circuit’s request.

A statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“Today’s ruling is a significant and positive step. The Ninth Circuit not only rejected Imperial County’s attempt to intervene, it also recognized that if the group that placed Prop 8 on the ballot does not have standing, the case is over. Under California law, it is our elected public officials who have the power to decide whether to appeal a decision. In this case, Kamala Harris and Jerry Brown stated repeatedly throughout the 2010 election that they would not spend public funds to appeal Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 violates the core constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of Californians. Their opponents took the opposite position, and the voters spoke. That should be the end of the matter. We are confident the California Supreme Court will act quickly to resolve this question and to hasten the day when California once again treats all families with equal dignity and respect.”

Read NCLR’s Analysis of the Ninth Circuit Prop 8 Ruling

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.