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New Prop. 8 challenge already in the works

May 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some of the country's top legal minds are already launching a new court challenge after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 on Tuesday.Lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, who represented opposing sides in the 2000 Bush v. Gore election challenge, announced they had filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of two gay men and two gay women.

"The plaintiffs in this case are Americans. They work hard. They pay their taxes, and they want to get married, just like many of the rest of us," Olson said.

"They simply want to live their lives without being discriminated against by their government," he said.

The lawsuit argues Prop 8 violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the due process clause. The plaintiffs said Prop 8 singles out gays and lesbians, creating a category of second-class citizens.

"The purpose of our constitution and the purpose of our court system is to make sure that the promise of our constitution is extended to every American. That's what this lawsuit is about," Boies said.

The streets of Hollywood and West Hollywood were packed with protesters on Tuesday night after the high court's 6-1 ruling upholding a gay marriage ban.

They marched to the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave., shutting down the intersection. That crowd was estimated to be approximately 5,000 strong.

Proposition 8 was approved by a majority of voters last fall, but in the days following the November election, three lawsuits were filed, claiming the measure was unconstitutional and improperly changed the state constitution. The justices disagreed.

However, the court refused to nullify the 18,000 marriages that took place before the passage of Prop 8.

Gay marriage supporters are starting to move into campaign mode in an effort to try to repeal Prop 8, which they had considered for 2012.

Instead, they are pushing that ahead and trying to put a measure on the ballot in 2010, which requires 700,000 signatures.

In an exclusive Eyewitness News Survey USA poll, we asked the public a few questions, and the results were as following:

Do you think same-sex couples should/should not be allowed to marry in California?

  • Should - 45 percent
  • Should not - 53 percent
  • Not sure - 2 percent

Do you agree/disagree with the Court's ruling?

  • Agree - 56 percent
  • Disagree - 40 percent
  • Not sure - 4 percent

Same-sex couples married before Prop 8 became law should remain legally married.

  • Agree - 60 percent
  • Disagree - 35 percent
  • Not sure - 5 percent

The court's ruling led to 100 protests in 100 cities across the U.S.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement shortly after the ruling.

"While I believe that one day, either the people or courts will recognize gay marriage, as governor of California, I will uphold the decision of the California Supreme Court," he said.

"Regarding the 18,000 marriages that took place prior to Proposition 8's passage, the court made the right decision in keeping them intact."

Supporters of traditional marriage were thrilled with Tuesday's ruling.

ProtectMarriage.com, a huge supporter of Prop 8, said they are happy the Supreme Court acknowledged the will of the voters.

A statement on the Web site said, "Gays have a right to their private lives, but they do not have the right to change the definition of marriage for everyone else."

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