For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

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ACLU Will Appeal Order To Turn Over Campaign Documents In Prop 8 Challenge

WASHINGTON - Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Monday that the American Civil
Liberties Union and Equality California must turn over campaign
documents, including internal e-mails and memos regarding efforts to
overturn Prop 8, even though the groups are not parties to the legal
challenge brought by Ted Olson and David Boies seeking to strike down
the discriminatory ordinance.

In announcing its attention to appeal the decision, the ACLU issued
the following statement by ACLU of Northern California staff attorney
Elizabeth Gill:

“People must have a right to organize to make change. That right
often requires bringing together diverse groups to work together in
coalition to fight for or against a particular issue. Yet it is
precisely this kind of coalition work that is most jeopardized by Judge
Walker’s order, which strips coalition partners of their constitutional
protections to organize. Under Judge Walker’s ruling, all efforts to
advance equality and protect civil rights and liberties are in
jeopardy. This would include the ACLU work with coalition partners like
the California Catholic Conference, the Council of Churches, the
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, the California Family Health
Council and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on
issues ranging from death penalty reform and reproductive justice to
immigrants’ rights and the San Francisco Police Department’s tow and
impoundment policy.

“As we’ve seen by the passage of Prop 8, which stripped same sex
couples of their constitutional right to marry, LGBT people and their
supporters are especially vulnerable in the initiative process. We need
to be able to plan and strategize without being afraid that our emails
and other communications will someday have to be turned over to our
opponents. These confidential communications inform all of our work in
support of LGBT equality, and being forced to hand these documents over
to our opponents would adversely affect our work throughout the

“It might make sense to force people to turn over emails to prove a
violation of the constitution. But no one is claiming--or could
claim--that what the No on 8 committees said or did violated the
constitution. “We believe the court is wrong on the law and intend to
appeal the matter to the federal appeals court.”


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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