State Legislature Goes On Record to Oppose Prop. 8

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Vaishalee Raja, Communications Director
PHONE:  (916) 284-9187  EMAIL: vaishalee@eqca.org

State Legislature Goes On Record to Oppose Prop. 8

Both Houses Pass Equality California Sponsored Resolutions Supporting Legal Challenge

SACRAMENTO - Both
the California Senate and Assembly passed resolutions today opposing
Proposition 8 as an illegal and unprecedented revision to the state
Constitution. According to the resolutions, Prop. 8 illegally usurps
the legislature’s role to vote on all fundamental revisions to the
Constitution. By taking away the fundamental freedom to marry from one
particular group, Prop. 8 alters the very intent of the Constitution,
which is to treat all people equally under the law.

The resolutions, Senate Resolution 7 and House Resolution 5, are
sponsored by Equality California (EQCA) and were introduced by Senator
Mark Leno and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, respectively, both of San
Francisco. In addition, a full 17 Senators and 40 Assemblymembers
signed on as resolution co-authors. The Senate resolution passed by a
final vote of 18-14, whereas the Assembly version passed 44-27.

“This is the first time in our state’s history that the initiative
process has been used to take away a fundamental freedom from one
particular group,” said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. “Our
legislators understand this is an unequivocal change to our State’s
Constitution, which is to protect and empower all people equally.”

"Both houses of the Legislature recognize that Proposition 8 undermines
the fundamental principle of equal protection guaranteed by the
California Constitution," said Senator Leno. "Proposition 8's revision
to the California Constitution violated key structural checks and
balances in the state's legal system when it was approved by a slim
majority of voters last November. If Proposition 8 stands, we would be
setting a dangerous precedent in California that allows a majority of
the people to deny equal protection under the law to a minority of
Californians."

“Our state guarantees a system of checks and balances to prevent
discrimination like Prop. 8,” said Ammiano. “Prop. 8 flouts that system
as it alters the very nature of our Constitution and bypasses the
constitutionally-assigned duty of the Legislature to begin the process
of making fundamental revisions. If Prop. 8 is allowed to stand, the
rights of every minority group will be at risk and our Courts and our
Legislature will be powerless to stop it.”

The Supreme Court of California is scheduled to hear arguments challenging Prop. 8 on March 5th.

“We are thankful that our elected representatives have sided with the
people in standing up against this dangerous and unprecedented
revision,” Kors continued. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will
do the same.”

Two weeks ago, nearly 1,000 volunteers traveled to Sacramento as part
of EQCA’s Lobby Day, where they met directly with legislators and urged
them to support the resolutions. Last week, the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) weighed in on the threat
all minorities face if Prop. 8 is not overturned. In a letter to the
state’s legislators, NAACP National Board Chair Julian Bond and
President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous urged the swift passage of both
resolutions.

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Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

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