Herrera praises US Court of Appeals order denying rehearing of Prop 8 case
SAN FRANCISCO (June 5, 2012)-- City Attorney Dennis Herrera today praised the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reject a call by sponsors of Proposition 8 to rehear that court’s decision invalidating Proposition 8. The Ninth Circuit previously decided that Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the federal Constitution, relying on key arguments made by Herrera's legal team that Proposition 8 unlawfully stripped rights away from same-sex couples just to make them unequal to other couples. The sponsors of Proposition 8 backers had requested that an 11-judge panel rehear the case.
"I am elated that today we are one step closer to full equality for same-sex couples," Herrera said. Herrera noted that that the law is moving toward greater protection for lesbians and gay men, citing a recent decision of the Court of Appeals in Boston holding unconstitutional a federal law requiring States to discriminate against same-sex couples.
San Francisco intervened alongside the American Foundation for Equal Rights in its federal challenge to Proposition 8 on August 19, 2009, for the purpose of demonstrating the public sector's interest in marriage equality. In 2004, the San Francisco City Attorney's Office became the first government entity ever to litigate against marriage laws that discriminate against same-sex partners, and it has played a central role in every case involving the issue in California for the last eight years.