Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Olson and Boies' Appellate Brief's Conclusion

     Here is the conclusion of the brief just filed by the plaintiffs and their attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies, in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger appeal.  Once again, I applaud the plaintiffs and their counsel for fighting the discrimination and hatred that fueled and is California Proposition 8.

     The entire document can be found here.  It's worth reading, but if you don't have the time, here's the conclusion to the 134 page document:
     Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay. A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay.  Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society. And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility.  The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.
     Proposition 8 was promoted as necessary to protect marriage and children, but its unmistakable purpose and effect is to isolate gay men and lesbians and their relationships as separate, unusual, dangerous, and unworthy of the marital relationship. By definition, such a law stigmatizes gay men and lesbians, and that kind of stigmatization leads, often indirectly, but certainly inevitably, to isolation and estrangement.
     What can the Supreme Court mean when it says that our Constitution “neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” if a majority can so stigmatize a small, visible, and vulnerable minority and in the process cause such wrenching anguish? The American promise—and dream—of equality surely means at a minimum that the government, before “drawing a line around” some segment of its citizenry and designating them unworthy of something as important and socially meaningful as the institution of marriage, must have a legitimate and factually tenable rationale for doing so. Proposition 8 fails even this most basic level of scrutiny.  It advances no legitimate purpose.
     The judgment of the district court should be affirmed.

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