February 15, 2009
Despite our victory in passing Proposition 8, traditional marriage is under assault in California. Even after winning a historic victory and passing by a 600,000 voter margin, Prop 8 has been abandoned by many of our elected officials, including those who are sworn to uphold it. Rest assured, however, that our committee will continue to defend Prop 8 and traditional marriage with all of our energies. Here is an update on recent activities:
The Calif ornia Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for March 5 to determine if Prop 8 was a validly enacted amendment to the constitution or if it somehow violates the law. All of our legal briefs have been filed with the Court. The ProtectMarriage.com committee is now the ONLY organization battling as a party in the lawsuit to uphold Prop 8. Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose oath of office requires him to defend the People's right to amend our constitution, has instead decided to oppose Prop 8. While agreeing with us on some points, he's advancing a novel legal theory that even though Prop 8 was a validly enacted amendment to the constitution, it should nevertheless be thrown out because it supposedly conflicts with the "inalienable" right to liberty of same-sex couples. Not only that, but over forty outside groups (civil rights activists, legal groups, labor unions, bar associations, etc.), represented by literally hundreds of lawyers, also filed legal briefs urging the Supreme Court to overturn the people's vote for Proposition 8.
Fortunately, we have assembled a top legal team to defend Prop 8. In fact, Kenneth W. Starr is our lead attorney in the Supreme Court. Mr. Starr, a former Solicitor General of the United States and a former Judge on the United States Court of Appeals, will argue the case at the upcoming hearing on behalf of ProtectMarrige.com - Yes on 8 and the official proponents of Prop 8.
With Ken Starr's leadership and some early financial support from folks like you, our team of attorneys worked diligently through December and January, researching and drafting legal briefs in response to our opponents' lawsuits. It is no overstatement to say that virtually the entire burden of defending Prop 8 and the principle of traditional marriage has fallen on our shoulders. Our opponents have the benefit of taxpayer-paid legal counsel and free access to some of the biggest law firms in the state. We must rely on the generosity of our supporters.
Would you please consider making a special contribution to the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund at this important time? Click here to make a secure online donation. Because this fund is not a political committee, all contributions are confidential and will not be publicly disclosed. Our attorneys are working hard to prepare for the oral arguments before the Court. They will let the Court know that the Attorney General's position essentially asks the Court to declare a constitutional revolution. In fact, the Attorney General is arguing that the people are powerless to amend their constitution to overturn judicial interpretations of constitutional principles. Being the only defender of Prop 8, the entire cost of the defense is ours to bear. Please help us meet our obligations and uphold Prop 8 and the people's right to determine what their constitution says. Click here to donate now.
ProtectMarriage.com enjoyed the support of over 75,000 individual contributors. Some contributed as little as $5 while others contributed over $1 million. All told, we raised nearly $40 million - an incredible outpouring of support from supporters of traditional marriage in California and across the country. Even still, our opponents raised $3 million more than we did. The fact that we prevailed despite being outspent is a tribute to our campaign and the dedication of our many supporters.
We also are continuing to litigate to protect the privacy of donors to our just concluded campaign. Unfortunately, too many of our supporters have been subjected to harassing calls, emails and other retaliation for supporting Proposition 8. There is clearly an organized effort underway to contact our donors and attempt to silence them from supporting our efforts. Some of our opponents, for example, have put many of our donors' information on the Internet using Google mapping technology, displaying the location of contributors of as little as $100. (see www.eightmaps.com) For this reason, we are mounting litigation in the federal courts to protect our donors from further disclosure. We expect this litigation to take some time, and likely will not be successful until it is in the federal courts of app eal. However, if you have personally suffered any type of harassment or retaliation in the past few weeks (since January 31) as a result of your contribution to our campaign, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more that we can document incidents of retaliation, particularly incidents stemming from the outrageous use of Google Maps by our opponents or recent harassment since our campaign reports were filed on January 31, the stronger our case will be.
Finally, as if challenging the validity of Prop 8 in court and harassing hundreds of our supporters were not enough, the opponents of Prop 8 are asking the Legislature to pass Senate Resolution 7 (Leno) and Assembly Resolution 5 (Ammiano) declaring that Prop 8 is invalid. These resolutions have no legal effect, but are intended to send a message to the Supreme Court that a majority of legislators believe Prop 8 should be tossed out. Please act to oppose these resolutions!
SR 7 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, February 17. Please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express your opposition to SR 7. Those members are: Senator Ellen Corbett (D-Alameda) (Chair), Senator Tom Harman (R-Orange County) (Vice-Chair) Senator Dean Florez, (D-Central Valley), Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco - he is the author of SR 7) and Senator Mimi Walters (R-Orange County). As a reminder, Proposition 8 passed overwhelmingly in Orange County and the Central Valley and failed in Alameda and San Francisco. To reach these Senators, go to http://www.sen.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp and write, call or email them your comments.
AR 5 will also be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, February 17. Please contact members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee to express your opposition to AR 5. They are: Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) (Chair), Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Orange County) (Vice Chair), Assembly Member Julia Brownley (D-Los Angeles), Assemblywoman Noreen Evans (D-Napa), Assemblyman Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), Assemblyman Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley), Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D-Los Angeles), Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Monterey), and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber/Tehama County). As a reminder, Proposition 8 passed in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Sacramento County and Tehama County, and failed in Monterey County and Napa County. To reach these Assembly Members, go to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset7text.htm and write, call or email them your comments.
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