What's the ACLU role in challenging California's Prop 8?

The ACLU, along with Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), went to court within hours of California's "Prop 8" vote on Nov. 4, 2008 to ban marriage for lesbian and gay couples. We challenged the constitutionality of voting on others' rights. The same three legal groups were also part of the original case, In re Marriage Cases, which prompted the California Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality in May 2008.

The ACLU also helped to defend equal marriage rights in the case Strauss v. Horton, in which the California high court ruled that marriages performed before passage of Prop 8 were valid, even though the Court found that passage of Prop 8 itself was lawful.

The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and NCLR have offered support to the legal team--led by the American Foundation for Equal Rights--in the case being ruled on today, Perry v. Brown, and also urged the Ninth Circuit Court to reject attacks on the impartiality of trial judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled against Prop 8 in 2010, simply because he is gay. That's like saying that no judge can ever rule impartially on a case involving people of his or her gender, race, faith, etc.

The ACLU of Massachusetts has been deeply involved in work for equal marriage rights here in the Commonwealth, and you can learn more about our work for LGBT equality here in Massachusetts and nationally.

Update 2.7.12 at 1:05pm

The federal appeals court in California has ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional.


Ninth Circuit Rules Prop 8 Is Unconstitutional

Federal Appeals Court Says California Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional
News Release