Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Lopez

This week the Orange County Equality Coalition, OCEC, held their first legal forum of the year, which featured constitutional law scholar and UCI Law School Dean, Erwin Chemerinsky. Dean Chemerinsky explained the legal journey of Proposition 8, California’s famed ballot initiative, from the time most of us stopped paying attention through now. There were 3, major, take away messages:




  1. Now is as good a time as any to take the marriage equality battle to federal court.
  2. When the question of whether or not the government can continue to discriminate against the marriages and families of LGBT people gets to the US Supreme Court, the answer will most likely be in the hands of one man: Justice Anthony Kennedy.
  3. If Prop 8 is overturned in the US District Court, where Judge Vaughn Walker is scheduled to release his decision this month, MARRIAGE EQUALITY COULD RETURN TO CALIFORNIA!!!

That’s right, my lovelies, as soon as next month, we could be getting LEGALLY married in California once again. Here’s how: Prop 8 is being challenged in the first level of federal court (US District). Evidence has been presented by both sides. Closing arguments will probably take place sometime this month. After that, Judge Walker will issue a ruling on whether Prop 8 violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. If Prop 8 is overturned, marriage equality could be restored in California.

Of course, the pro-discrimination lawyers will likely appeal Prop 8’s overturning, and they may request that our marriages remain ignored until the issue is decided on appeal. But, get this, if the district court and the appellate court refuse to block marriage equality, then the haters can go to a representative of the US Supreme Court. Who, you ask, is the SCOTUS Justice that oversees the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals??? Well, it’s Anthony Kennedy.

Dean Chemerinsky also gave detailed projections on how the SCOTUS Justices would split on this issue and offered enlightened commentary on Anthony Kennedy’s record. Chemerinsky is simply amazing, and if you missed this legal forum, you really missed out. BUT, rumor has it their may be a video of the event online shortly. I will keep you posted.

OCEC’s next legal forum will focus on tax related issues for the LGBT community and will be held at Chapman University School of Law at the end of March.

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