San Francisco Allowed to Intervene in Federal Challenge to Proposition 8

City Attorney Herrera says his office is well-prepared to help ‘put anti-gay discrimination on trial based on the facts’

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 19, 2009) — U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker this morning granted the City and County of San Francisco’s motion to intervene in the federal challenge to Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment that eliminated the fundamental right of marriage for gay and lesbian citizens in California. In granting the intervention, Walker held that the City demonstrated a governmental perspective and interests, and is the only party — including the State and the Governor — that is willing and able to present that perspective and interest. The Court directed the City Attorney to work together with the Attorney General and confer on ways to present the facts relevant to the government’s interests relating to Proposition 8 in a manner that will not be duplicative and will avoid delay.

In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:

“We’re gratified that San Francisco has been granted a key role in the federal challenge to Proposition 8,” said Herrera. “In terms of our unique public sector perspective and the evidence we’ve already developed, we think the City is an extremely well-prepared co-plaintiff in the kind of trial Judge Walker envisions. We are ready to help put anti-gay discrimination on trial based on the facts, and our office has the experience and expertise to assist in aggressively doing that.”

The case is Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. 09-CV-2292 VRW.