Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Defends Marriage Equality Bill


by Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
July 12, 2010
(source)

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made this statement at a press conference while away in China two days before the Argentinean Senate voted to grant same-sex marriage legal recognition.

English subtitles embedded in the video.

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On Equality


by Alexi Giannoulias
U.S. Senate nominee and Illinois State Treasurer
Campaign Rally
Jun 21, 2010
(source)

From David Mixner:

As we watch people in Washington attempt to find ways to dribble out our human rights without taking a tough stand on issues like marriage equality, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias who is running for United States Senate in Illinois shows how it should be done. Without equivocating or searching for new words to describe our struggle, he comes down squarely and unconditioinally for full equality.

This charismatic young Democrat represents the new generation of Americans running for office who refuse to abide by the old ways of caution. Want to know who should get your funds this year? Just click here and support this amazing man. Watch this video and you will become even more impatient with those who refuse to stand by our side in marriage equality

Silicon Valley Leaders Denounce Prop 8 in Newspaper Ad


November 2, 2008
Printed in The San Jose Mercury News
Click the image for a full view

High Tech Business Executives, Venture Capital leaders to Urge Californians to Stand Up for Equality

Santa Clara – The leadership of the nation’s high-tech industry feels so strongly that Prop 8 is wrong and unfair, that a coalition of key leaders is running a full page advertisement in a major daily newspaper urging Californians to vote NO on Prop 8. The ad, running in Friday’s San Jose Mercury News, includes a list of “Who’s Who of the Silicon Valley”, including the founders and CEOs of Google, Yahoo!, Adobe Systems and Cisco Systems.

Prop 8 would eliminate the fundamental right to marry for same-sex couples in California by amending the state’s Constitution.

Jerry Yang, co-Founder of Yahoo! Inc. said, “Silicon Valley has always been an example for the rest of the country of how diversity and openness help to drive innovation and value creation. This divisive measure is the antithesis of those values that make Silicon Valley so unique.”

Chuck Geschke, Founder & Chairman, Adobe Systems Inc, said, “Equal rights under the law is one of the cornerstones of our California constitution and one of the guiding values for Silicon Valley leaders. Prop 8 would take the extreme step of amending our constitution to strip rights away from one group of people.”

“Today prominent leaders from across California – and around the nation – have become part of the NO on Prop 8 campaign,” said Geoff Kors, a NO on Prop 8 Executive Committee Member. “We welcome the support and leadership of these technology and business leaders who believe Prop 8 is unfair and must be defeated and we look forward to seeing that number grow.”

Below is the text of the ad:

Silicon Valley Leaders Urge You to Stand for Equality.

Vote No on Proposition 8.

As Silicon Valley leaders, we are committed to equality and fairness. We are opposed to Proposition 8 because it would change our state constitution to take away rights from one group of people. It would set our state, and our country, back in the fight for fundamental fairness and equal rights.

Please join us by reaching out to friends and neighbors and asking them to stand for fairness: Vote No on Proposition 8 on November 4th.

Silicon Valley Leaders Say NO on Proposition 8 (Updated Thursday, Oct 30, 2008)

(titles are for identification purposes only)

HONORARY CO-CHAIRS:

  • Sergey Brin, Founder, Google, Inc.
  • Bill Campbell, Chairman, Intuit Inc.
  • David Filo, Founder, Yahoo! Inc.
  • Chuck Geschke, Founder & Chairman, Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • John Morgridge, Former CEO & Chairman, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc., Founding Partner, Omidyar Network
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  • Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google, Inc.
  • Jerry Yang, Founder, Yahoo! Inc.

LEADERS (partial list):

  • Deborah Barber, Principal, Jackson Hole Group
  • John Battelle, Chairman & CEO, Federated Media
  • Marc Benioff,CEO, Salesforce.com
  • Larry Birenbaum, Former Senior Vice President, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Lorna Borenstein, President, Move, Inc.
  • Larry Brilliant, Executive Director, Google.org
  • Owen Byrd, President, Byrd Development
  • John Chisholm, Chairman & CEO, CustomerSat, Inc.
  • Barry Cinnamon, CEO, Akeena Solar
  • Tod Cohen, Vice President and Deputy General Council, Government Relations, eBay Inc.
  • LaDoris Cordell, Administrator, Stanford University
  • Sue Decker, President, Yahoo! Inc.
  • Jack Dorsey, Chairman, Twitter
  • David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development & Chief Legal Officer, Google, Inc.
  • Donna Dubinsky, CEO, Numenta, Inc.
  • Alan Eustace, SVP, Engineering and Research, Google, Inc.
  • Naomi Fine, President & CEO, Pro-Tec Data, Inc.
  • Rachel Glaser COO/CFO, Reunion.com
  • Carl Guardino, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Andre Haddad, CEO, Shopping.com
  • Jeff Hawkins, co-Founder Palm, Handspring, and Numenta
  • David Karnstedt, Investor
  • Scott Kaspick, Managing Director, Kaspick & Co.
  • Steve Kirsch, Serial Entrepreneur
  • John Koza, CEO, Third Millennium
  • Ross LaJeunesse, Head of State Policy Western US, Google, Inc.
  • Gary Lauder, Managing Partner, Lauder Partners Venture Capital
  • Laura Lauder, General Partner, Lauder Partners Venture Capital
  • Len Lehman, Investor
  • Dan’l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corporation
  • John Luongo, Former CEO, Vantive Corporation
  • Roger McNamee, Managing Director & co-Founder, Elevation Partners
  • Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California
  • Michael Moritz, Partner, Sequoia Capital
  • Susan Packard Orr, CEO, Telosa Software, Inc.
  • Randy Pond, Executive Vice President, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Amy Rao, Founder & CEO, Integrated Archive Systems
  • Jana Rich, Managing Director, Russell Reynolds
  • Miriam Rivera, Former Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Google, Inc.
  • John Roos, CEO, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP, Product Management, Google, Inc.
  • Dan Rosensweig, Investor
  • Dan Rubin, Partner, Alloy Ventures
  • Hilary Schneider, Executive Vice President US Region, Yahoo! Inc.
  • Len Shustek, Chairman, Computer History Museum
  • Jeff Skoll, Former President, eBay Inc.
  • Stephanie Tilenius, SVP, eBay North America
  • Joy Weiss, President & CEO, Dust Networks
  • Steve Westly, former California State Controller & former SVP eBay Inc.
  • Evan Williams, CEO, Twitter

For a complete list of NO on 8 endorsements, visit http://www.noonprop8.com.

Why ‘yes’ on Proposition 8?: ‘Biology, not bigotry’ is the foundation for the traditional form of marriage.


by Maggie Gallagher
Los Angeles Times
November 01, 2008

As I travel across California and the country making the case for Proposition 8, I’m often asked, “Why do you care about restoring marriage?”

It’s a good question, and not just for me. Why are so many Californians rushing to street corners to hold up “Yes on 8” signs, enduring petty vandalism, and even pettier insults, to make the case for voting yes on Proposition 8?

It’s simple: Government did not create marriage. Marriage is older than the U.S. Constitution, older even than the Bible or the Koran. Marriage’s deepest roots are in human nature and human experience. Marriage, as a judge on the Connecticut Supreme Court wrote in his compelling dissent to that court’s recent ruling allowing gays to wed, is rooted “in biology, not bigotry.”

Marriage is a virtually universal human social institution with a certain recognizable shape: It is a public union, not just a private union; it’s a sexual union and not some other kind of union; it’s a union in which the rights and responsibilities of men and women toward each other — and toward the children of their union — are publicly defined and supported, not merely left up to individuals to figure out privately.

Why do so many diverse societies arrive at this core marriage idea? There is something special about unions of husband and wife.

The answer is not hard to see. When a baby is born, a mother is bound to be somewhere close by. But if we want fathers to be there for children, and the mothers of their children, biology alone will not take us very far. We need a cultural mechanism to connect fathers to the mother-child bond. We also need an institution that communicates to the next generation — in the throes of its own erotic and romantic dramas — how seriously society takes the need to discipline those dramas so that children do not get hurt.

The word for the way society makes this connection, not only in California but in virtually every known human society, is “marriage.” Marriage is a union of husband and wife because these kinds of unions are distinctive and necessary to the whole society.

If Californians vote no on Proposition 8, the great historical cross-cultural meaning of marriage will be replaced by the new government dogma on which gay marriage is based: There is no difference between same-sex unions and opposite-sex unions; anyone who thinks otherwise is just a bigot.

Our children will imbibe this new dogma in hundreds of ways, and the old marriage idea — marriage matters because children need a mother and a father, long for a mother and a father, deserve a mother and a father — will be publicly discredited as discriminatory.

A victory for Proposition 8 will not deprive same-sex couples of a single practical right or benefit under California state laws. Civil unions will continue to provide legal protections for same-sex families. But the people of California will reclaim from four state Supreme Court justices the right to define marriage as a union of husband and wife, for generations to come.

Maggie Gallagher is president of the National Organization for Marriage, which is a major contributor to the “Yes on 8” campaign.

Gay Marriage is a Question of Love


by Kieth Olbermann
November 10, 2008
Countdown with Keith Olbermann
This segment is a response to the recent passage of Proposition 8 in California.
Olbermann received a GLAAD Media Award for this segment.

(full video from MSNBC)

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8. And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.”

Prop 8: The Musical


Written by Marc Shaiman
Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring Margaret Cho, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly, Allison Janney, Jack Black, and more.
The video received a Special Recognition Award at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
December 3, 2008

From the official press release:

For Immediate Release
“PROP 8 – THE MUSICAL”
OPENS TODAY ON FUNNY OR DIE
WRITTEN BY MARC SHAIMAN, DIRECTED BY ADAM SHANKMANFEATURING JACK BLACK, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, JOHN C. REILLY, ALLISON JANNEY, KATHY NAJIMY, CRAIG ROBINSON, ANDY RICHTER, MAYA RUDOLPH, RASHIDA JONES, LAKE BELL, SARAH CHALKE, MARGARET CHO, JENIFER LEWIS, NICOLE PARKER

Los Angeles — December 3, 2008 — FunnyorDie.com, the funniest place on the web, presents an exclusive new video, “Prop 8 – The Musical.” The video was shot last Monday in Santa Monica, CA, and was conceived and written by five time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray,” “South Park-Bigger, Longer & Uncut“) and directed by Adam Shankman (“Bedtime Stories,” “Hairspray”).

“I am grateful for the invitation from Funny or Die to use their website to express myself the way God likes it best: through music, lyrics and humor,” says Marc Shaiman. “Who could have imagined that such a dark moment in California’s history could result in the fantastically fun week making this video. The day of filming was, I think, one of the purest, fun days we have all spent, and if not for the sharp thinking and hysterical leadership of Adam Shankman, it would all still just be in my head — I only wish I’d written it 2 months ago. Damn,” he added.

“After being so angry and confused about this horrible and unconstitutional public shaming, it was amazing to go out there and do what we do best in protest: sing and dance,” says Adam Shankman. “It was the fanciest piece of community theater I’ve ever seen. The whole thing came together in one day. It was beautiful. No lunch breaks or egos. I’m grateful to everyone who participated,” he added.The running time of “Prop 8 – The Musical” is 3 minutes. (A full credit list is below).

At the end of the video, Prop 8 the Musical encourages viewers to visit JoinTheImpact.com, the site responsible for the November 15th National Day of Protest to repeal Proposition 8. JoinTheImpact.com is now working to become a clearinghouse of sorts for grassroots events related to the Gay Rights Movement. When asked about their take on the Prop 8 Musical, JTI co-founder Amy Balliett said “I can’t stop laughing and want to show everyone this great video! I am honored that the creators added the call to action on their video to visit JoinTheImpact.com. This movement is about uniting as one and it has amazd me to see just how united, creative, and inspirational our community and allies can be!”

Funny or Die (www.funnyordie.com) is an award-winning website that has become one of the top destinations for comedy on the web. Over the past three months, the site has averaged over 6 million unique visitors per month, and over 100 million video streams per month. With hundreds of exclusive celebrity videos and a steady stream of huge viral hits, Funny or Die has become the “place to be seen” for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. Funny or Die’s founders are Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. Judd Apatow is one of the site’s principal partners.

Opening Statement in Prop 8 Trial


by Ted Olson
The federal trial over the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 began today with an opening statement by attorney Theodore Olson, who with David Boies is leading the legal team assembled by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to litigate the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Opening statements will be followed by testimony from Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, who comprise two couples who wish to be married but who were denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8.

After the opening statement David Boies gave the direct examination of Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami.
January 11, 2010
(source)

OPENING STATEMENT
(as prepared)

This case is about marriage and equality. Plaintiffs are being denied both the right to marry, and the right to equality under the law.

The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly described the right to marriage as “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men;” a “basic civil right;” a component of the constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, association, and intimate choice; an expression of emotional support and public commitment; the exercise of spiritual unity; and a fulfillment of one’s self.

In short, in the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is “the most important relation in life,” and “of fundamental importance for all individuals.”

As the witnesses in this case will elaborate, marriage is central to life in America. It promotes mental, physical and emotional health and the economic strength and stability of those who enter into a marital union. It is the building block of family, neighborhood and community. The California Supreme Court has declared that the right to marry is of “central importance to an individual’s opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society.”

Proposition 8 ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians.

___________________________________

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court concluded that under this State’s Constitution, the right to marry a person of one’s choice extended to all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, and was available equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

In November of 2008, the voters of California responded to that decision with Proposition 8, amending the State’s Constitution and, on the basis of sexual orientation and sex, slammed the door to marriage to gay and lesbian citizens.

The plaintiffs are two loving couples, American citizens, entitled to equality and due process under our Constitution. They are in deeply committed, intimate, and longstanding relationships. They want to marry the person they love; to enter into that “most important relation in life”; to share their dreams with their partners; and to confer the many benefits of marriage on their families.

But Proposition 8 singled out gay men and lesbians as a class, swept away their right to marry, pronounced them unequal, and declared their relationships inferior and less-deserving of respect and dignity.

In the words of the California Supreme Court, eliminating the right of individuals to marry a same-sex partner relegated those individuals to “second class” citizenship, and told them, their families and their neighbors that their love and desire for a sanctioned marital partnership was not worthy of recognition.

During this trial, Plaintiffs and leading experts in the fields of history, psychology, economics and political science will prove three fundamental points:

First – Marriage is vitally important in American society.

Second – By denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Proposition 8 works a grievous harm on the plaintiffs and other gay men and lesbians throughout California, and adds yet another chapter to the long history of discrimination they have suffered.

Third – Proposition 8 perpetrates this irreparable, immeasurable, discriminatory harm for no good reason.

I

MARRIAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATION IN LIFE

Plaintiffs will present evidence from leading experts, representing some of the finest academic institutions in this country and the world, who will reinforce what the highest courts of California and the United States have already repeatedly said about the importance of marriage in society and the significant benefits that marriage confers on couples, their families, and the community. Proponents cannot dispute these basic facts.

While marriage has been a revered and important institution throughout the history of this country and this State, it has also evolved to shed irrational, unwarranted, and discriminatory restrictions and limitations that reflected the biases, prejudices or stereotypes of the past. Marriage laws that disadvantaged women or people of disfavored race or ethnicity have been eliminated. These changes have come from legislatures and the courts. Far from harming the institution of marriage, the elimination of discriminatory restrictions on marriage has strengthened the institution, its vitality, and its importance in American society today.

II

PROPOSITION 8 HARMS GAY AND LESBIAN INDIVIDUALS, THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR COMMUNITIES

Proposition 8 had a simple, straightforward, and devastating purpose: to withdraw from gay and lesbian people like the Plaintiffs their previously recognized constitutional right to marry. The official title of the ballot measure said it all: “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.”

Proponents of Proposition 8 have insisted that the persons they would foreclose from the institution of marriage have suffered no harm because they have been given the opportunity to form something called a “domestic partnership.” That is a cruel fiction.

Plaintiffs will describe the harm that they suffer every day because they are prevented from marrying. And they will describe how demeaning and insulting it can be to be told that they remain free to marry—as long, that is, that they marry someone of the opposite sex instead of the person they love, the companion of their choice.

And the evidence will demonstrate that relegating gay men and lesbians to “domestic partnerships” is to inflict upon them badges of inferiority that forever stigmatize their loving relationships as different, separate, unequal, and less worthy—something akin to a commercial venture, not a loving union. Indeed, the proponents of Proposition 8 acknowledge that domestic partnerships are not the same as traditional marriage. Proponents proudly proclaim that, under Proposition 8, the “unique and highly favorable imprimatur” of marriage is reserved to “opposite-sex unions.”

This government-sponsored societal stigmatization causes grave psychological and physical harms to gay men and lesbians and their families. It increases the likelihood that they will experience discrimination and harassment; it causes immeasurable harm.

Sadly, Proposition 8 is only the most recent chapter in our nation’s long and painful history of discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals. They have been classified as degenerates, targeted by police, harassed in the workplace, censored, demonized, fired from government jobs, excluded from our armed forces, arrested for their private sexual conduct, and repeatedly stripped of their fundamental rights by popular vote. Although progress has occurred, the roots of discrimination run deep and its impacts spread wide.

III

PROPOSITION 8 HARMS GAY AND LESBIAN INDIVIDUALS FOR NO GOOD REASON

Proposition 8 singles out gay and lesbian individuals alone for exclusion from the institution of marriage. In California, even convicted murderers and child abusers enjoy the freedom to marry. As the evidence clearly establishes, this discrimination has been placed in California’s Constitution even though its victims are, and always have been, fully contributing members of our society. And it excludes gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage even though the characteristic for which they are targeted—their sexual orientation—like race, sex, and ethnicity, is a fundamental aspect of their identity that they did not choose for themselves and, as the California Supreme Court has found, is highly resistant to change.

The State of California has offered no justification for its decision to eliminate the fundamental right to marry for a segment of its citizens. And its chief legal officer, the Attorney General, admits that none exists. And the evidence will show that each of the rationalizations for Proposition 8 invented by its Proponents is wholly without merit.

“Procreation” cannot be a justification inasmuch as Proposition 8 permits marriage by persons who are unable or have no intention of producing children. Indeed, the institution of civil marriage in this country has never been tied to the procreative capacity of those seeking to marry.

Proposition 8 has no rational relation to the parenting of children because same-sex couples and opposite sex couples are equally permitted to have and raise children in California. The evidence in this case will demonstrate that gay and lesbian individuals are every bit as capable of being loving, caring and effective parents as heterosexuals. The quality of a parent is not measured by gender but the content of the heart.

And, as for protecting “traditional marriage,” our opponents “don’t know” how permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry would harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples. Needless to say, guesswork and speculation is not an adequate justification for discrimination. In fact, the evidence will demonstrate affirmatively that permitting loving, deeply committed, couples like the plaintiffs to marry has no impact whatsoever upon the marital relationships of others.

When voters in California were urged to enact Proposition 8, they were encouraged to believe that unless Proposition 8 were enacted, anti-gay religious institutions would be closed, gay activists would overwhelm the will of the heterosexual majority, and that children would be taught that it was “acceptable” for gay men and lesbians to marry. Parents were urged to “protect our children” from that presumably pernicious viewpoint.

At the end of the day, whatever the motives of its Proponents, Proposition 8 enacted an utterly irrational regime to govern entitlement to the fundamental right to marry, consisting now of at least four separate and distinct classes of citizens: (1) heterosexuals, including convicted criminals, substance abusers and sex offenders, who are permitted to marry; (2) 18,000 same-sex couples married between June and November of 2008, who are allowed to remain married but may not remarry if they divorce or are widowed; (3) thousands of same-sex couples who were married in certain other states prior to November of 2008, whose marriages are now valid and recognized in California; and, finally (4) all other same-sex couples in California who, like the Plaintiffs, are prohibited from marrying by Proposition 8.

There is no rational justification for this unique pattern of discrimination. Proposition 8, and the irrational pattern of California’s regulation of marriage which it promulgates, advances no legitimate state interest. All it does is label gay and lesbian persons as different, inferior, unequal, and disfavored. And it brands their relationships as not the same, and less-approved than those enjoyed by opposite sex couples. It stigmatizes gays and lesbians, classifies them as outcasts, and causes needless pain, isolation and humiliation.

It is unconstitutional.