FYI from the National Center for Lesbian Rights…
Women’s Groups Warn Against Consequences of Putting Equality Up to a Public Vote
1.14.09 Several leading local, state and national women’s rights organizations have submitted an amicus curiae—or friend of the court—brief to the California Supreme Court, asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination. The organizations joining the brief—filed in support of the petitioners in Strauss et al. v. Horton et al. (#S168047)—will include Equal Rights Advocates, the California Women’s Law Center, Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz County, Lawyers Club of San Diego, Legal Momentum, and the National Association of Women Lawyers.
In the papers submitted to the Supreme Court, the prominent women’s groups argue that Proposition 8 drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California’s Constitution and that such drastic changes cannot legally be made through a simple majority vote. They argue that such changes require, at a minimum, a two-thirds vote of the legislature before being submitted to the voters. They further state that the position of the proponents of Proposition 8 is both offensive to the rich history of equality in California and contrary to California law.
“There was a time when women couldn’t own property, couldn’t vote, and were excluded from equal opportunities in education. If these had been up for a public vote we still might not have them,” said Irma D. Herrera, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. “Our constitution proudly protects women and minorities from having our basic civil rights stripped away so easily as they could be with Proposition 8. For the Constitution to have any meaning, core principles such as equal protection can’t be up for grabs in every election.”
For more information and to read the entire press release visit the National Center for Lesbian Rights website.