Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Follow the 9th Circuit Oral Arguments by AFER

Another bit of information that may be much needed, this is more detailed as to what and where you will be able to hear for the Prop 8 hearing in the 9th Circuit on Thursday. I grabbed this tid bit from AFER's website.

How to Follow the 9th Circuit Oral Arguments on Dec. 8

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released the following information about the December 8 oral arguments in Perry v. Brown. You can also follow AFER’s live updates here and by following @AFER on Twitter.

[Update, Dec. 2] The Ninth Circuit has granted a request by KQED for live and/or delayed audio broadcast.


Oral arguments will be heard by a panel of three judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday, December 8, 2011, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific time) in Courtroom One on the third floor of the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, 95 7 St., San Francisco. The panel consists of Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt of Los Angeles and N. Randy Smith of Pocatello, Idaho, and Senior Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of Phoenix. Two appeals will be argued:

Appeal No. 11-17255 involves an appeal of a ruling by Chief District Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on September 19, 2011, allowing the public release of videotapes made of the civil bench trial in Perry v. Hollingsworth. Oral arguments in this matter are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Appeal No. 11-16577 involves an appeal of a ruling by Chief District Judge Ware on June 14, 2011, denying a motion to vacate the judgment inPerry v. Hollingsworth on the ground that the presiding judge, then-Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, now retired, should be disqualified from presiding over the case because he was involved in a same-sex relationship at the time. Oral arguments in this matter are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

There will be no further argument in Appeal No. 10-16696. This appeal involves a challenge to a California law defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman, thereby prohibiting same-sex marriages. The law was enacted by a ballot measure, Proposition 8, approved by a majority of California voters in 2008, and found to be constitutional by the California Supreme Court in 2009. The law was challenged in federal court leading to a civil bench trial in January 2010 before Judge Walker in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. On August 4, 2010, Judge Walker issued a ruling in Perry v. Hollingsworth finding the law to be unconstitutional because it violated the equal protection and due process rights of same-sex couples seeking to marry. The decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments on December 6, 2010, on two matters: 1) Whether the proponents of the Proposition 8 ballot measure and certain local government officials had legal standing to appeal the lower court ruling; and 2) whether Judge Walker was correct in finding that the law was unconstitutional. On January 4, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order asking the California Supreme Court to determine whether Proposition 8 proponents had the legal right under the California law to defend Proposition 8 after the State of California chose not to do so. On November 17, 2011, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion finding that Proposition 8 proponents did have standing to defend the law. The Ninth Circuit panel has asked the parties to submit briefs pertaining to the California Supreme Court ruling. The panel has not yet ruled on the either the standing issue or the constitutionality of the law. (This case was previously captioned Perry v. Hollingsworth and Perry v. Schwarzenegger.)

Documents related to all three appeals are available online. To access, click here or use this URL: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/content/view.php?pk_id=0000000513.

Videotaping of the Proceedings

The panel has given consent for videotaping of the proceedings for later broadcast by C-SPAN and the NBC-7 television station in San Diego, and for still photo coverage by the Los Angeles

Times. In the event of multiple camera requests, C-SPAN and the Los Angeles Times will serve as pool providers for other media seeking to obtain an audio/video feed or still photographs. To participate in the pool, media must make application to the court using the camera request form attached here. Requests will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2011. The court will notify applicants of whether their request has been granted or denied. If granted, the court will provide contact information for C-SPAN and the Los Angeles Times to arrange a feed. The media is entirely responsible for working out pool arrangements.

In addition to C-SPAN, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will provide a live audio/video feed from Courtroom One to other parts of the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse and to remote viewing locations elsewhere. More information on remote viewing is available below. Digital files containing video and audio recordings of the proceeding will be available from the Court of Appeals website – www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media – no later than noon the following day.

Remote Viewing

A live video and audio feed from the proceedings at the San Francisco courthouse will be delivered via electronically secure means to the following federal courthouses:

Richard H. Chambers U.S. Courthouse
125 South Grand Ave.
Pasadena, California.
Courtroom Three, 1st Floor

U.S. Pioneer Courthouse
700 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Pioneer Courtroom

William K. Nakamura U.S. Courthouse
1010 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, Washington
En Banc Courtroom, 8th Floor

Remote viewing may also be available at other locations. More information will be provided as available.

Public access to the remote viewing locations in federal courthouses will be on a first come-first served basis. No photographs or recording/transmission of the audio and video displayed at the remote viewing locations will be allowed. Proper decorum is expected.

Photo ID Required

The public entrance to the courthouse is located at 7 and Mission streets. Visitors entering the courthouse must show a valid photo ID and pass through security screening.

Courtroom Seating

Due to significant public interest in the case, the court will reserve a limited number of seats in Courtroom One for members of the media. To request a seat, contact the court’s public information officer, David J. Madden, (415) 355-8930 / dmadden@ce9.uscourts.gov by 5 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2011. More information on media seating will be provided. Members of the media are strongly encouraged to be in their seats by 2:15 p.m.

Public seating in Courtroom One will be limited and available on a first come-first served basis. Persons wishing to observe oral arguments are encouraged to arrive early and may be required to wait in a line for access to the courtroom. The courtroom will be opened to public seating at 1:30 p.m. The proceeding also may be observed at overflow locations within the courthouse.

Electronic Devices

Anyone may bring electronic devices, such as a Blackberry, smart phone, laptop computer or a similar functioning device having wireless communications capability into the courthouse. Except for courtrooms, persons may use such devices in public areas of the courthouse to make telephone calls and to transmit and receive data communications, such as email or text messages, or to access the Internet. For reasons of privacy, safety, and security, use of these devices to take photographs or for audio or video recording or transmission is prohibited in the courthouse.

In courtrooms, persons may use such devices to take notes, transmit and receive data communications, and access the Internet. This includes media members who are transmitting written accounts of the proceeding to a wider audience using various means. Persons may not use these devices for telephone calls, photographs or audio or video recording or transmission. Telephone ring tones and other functional sounds produced by devices must be disabled while in the courtroom. Only quiet keyboards may be used in the courtrooms. The presiding judge of a judicial panel may prohibit or further restrict use of such devices by all persons prior to or during a proceeding when necessary to protect the rights of the parties or to assure the orderly conduct of the proceedings.

Internet Connection

Courtroom One does not provide Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi is available in the Attorney Lounge and the Courthouse Café, both located on the first floor of the courthouse. Past experience indicates that 3G connections are possible in Courtroom One.

Press Room / Post-Proceedings Press Conference

The court has granted permission for the parties to hold press conferences immediately after the proceedings in the Library Conference Room on the first floor of the courthouse. Video and still camera coverage will be allowed only in the Library Conference Room. Media are instructed not to use cameras elsewhere in the courthouse.

The Library Conference Room may be used by the media prior to the proceeding. At this point, there are no plans to use this location as a press room (e.g. no tables, electrical outlet access, etc.). A live audio/video feed from Courtroom One will be displayed in the Library Conference Room.

Two Motions to be heard Thurs. Dec. 8th, 2011 by 9th Circuit

Found this article at SDGLN.com thought you might want to read it, so you know what's going on with the court hearings on Thursday, Dec. 8th. The 9th Circuit are not making their decision as of yet as to whether or not they are going to solidify the ruling of then District Judge Vaughn Walker. This is however one of the final steps towards marriage equality. Since there are remote viewing of a delayed broadcasting of the trial you can follow the trial via Twitter by following @AFER. I have followed @AFER for every hearing I wasn't able to view be it that I was working or what have you, and I can honestly say, they will update (almost literally) sentence for sentence, word for word, step by step of the trial.

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved with your rights and the rights of millions, please see the upper right corner of the blog where you will find a table labeled "Get Involved". Godspeed.

- Jon Scott

SAN FRANCISCO – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week will hear two major motions in the Proposition 8 case, setting the stage for rulings by year’s end or in early in 2012.

A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments on:

-- Motion by the pro-marriage supporters to release the Prop 8 trial video

-- Motion by the anti-marriage proponents’ to throw out the case because the judge did not disclose that he is gay

The hearing, which starts at 2:30 pm PT Thursday, Dec. 8, is expected to last two hours.

On Aug. 4, 2010, federal district Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, but anti-marriage foes appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit. Since then, anti-gay groups have tied up in court Judge Walker’s historical decision ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional on several legal principles.

The high-powered legal team led by Ted Olson and David Boies, representing the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), successfully argued why Prop 8 was unconstitutional and discriminatory toward gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry.

“Our case for marriage equality is back on the fast track and we are poised for dramatic progress in the coming months,” said Adam Umhoefer, AFER’s senior project director.

“We have one final step before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the historic Federal District Court decision which found marriage discrimination unconstitutional,” he said. “I am confident that the Ninth Circuit will swiftly confirm the personal freedom of every American.”

AFER offered a preview of what will happen on Thursday.

Release the tapes

In the first hour, Olson will argue that the public has a First Amendment right to see video footage of the historic Prop 8 trial. The District Court has already ruled that the American people have a vested interest in transparent court proceedings, but the Prop 8 proponents appealed that decision. They are trying to keep the video under lock and key because they don’t want anyone to know that they failed in court, where reason and facts matter.

Also arguing that the tapes should be released is a media coalition comprised of The Associated Press, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, FOX News, NBC News, the Hearst Corp., Dow Jones & Co., and others.

Motion to vacate

In the second hour, Boies will address the proponents’ motion asking that our District Court victory be vacated because the judge who heard the case is gay and in a long-term relationship. The anti-marriage forces are trying everything they can to get the case thrown out because they know that reason and truth are on our side.

This tactic was universally condemned in the media and it took only a day for Chief Judge James Ware to rule against the homophobic motion. We are confident that the appeals court will affirm that being gay has no bearing on a judge’s impartiality, just as courts have historically done with cases involving race, gender and religion.

Hearing to be broadcast

The court has allowed a delayed broadcast of the hearing and has set up remote viewing locations in Pasadena, Calif.; Portland, Ore., and Seattle. You can also follow AFER's live updates from the courthouse on Twitter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sanctity of Marriage: Same-Sex Couples vs. Heterosexual Divorce Rates

So the main argument behind the anti-gay marriage is that LGBT's will ruin the sanctity of marriage... but since its all about the definition of the word, lets look at "sanctity" for a moment.


[sangk-ti-tee] Show IPA
noun, plural -ties.
holiness, saintliness, or godliness.
sacred or hallowed character: the inviolable sanctity of thetemple.
a sacred thing.

Back to what I was saying, lets look at the facts of marriage. Keep in mind that these facts are of present time and are during the same time that gay marriage is not legal.

  • About 50% of first time marriages end in divorce
  • 65% of second time marriages end in divorce
  • Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted 72 days
  • Larry King has been married 8 times
  • 3.6-5% of marriages end every year
  • Money problems are cited to be the #1 cause of divorce ("for richer or poorer" that's a vow to God) yet impossible to calculate because of the vague #1 reason, irreconcilable differences.
  • Nevada offers a quickie divorce
  • The crime laden District of Columbia has the lowest rate of divorce
  • 11% of African American's have been through divorce
  • 10% of White non-Hispanic have been through divorce
  • 8% Hispanic/Latino have been through divorce
  • Two out of three marriage's ending in divorce have minor children, that's right 66.67%
  • Illegal immigrants marry for Visa's while providing their "spouse" with a monthly allowance as little as $1,000
  • An adult may marry a minor (child) by the consent of a parent in some states.
If you notice there are no divorce rates for same-sex marriages listed above. This is because it hasn't been legal enough to establish same-sex marriage to same-sex divorce statistics. However, gay couples, having had to struggle to be married, exhibit a stronger sense of commitment to each other and to marriage.

What I'm saying here is this, keeping gays from marrying is not going to save the sanctity of marriage because their is no sanctity for marriage anymore. The LGBT community actually hold marriage in higher lights because we have had to fight for it. We haven't been able to marry, divorce, remarry, and trash its reputation with a divorce rate that is climbing above and beyond half our population here in the United States. Yet those able to take advantage of it, heterosexual couples, do. Not all but again more than half.

So if anti-gay marriage groups are trying to protect the sanctity of marriage why are they not stopping all heterosexuals from divorce? Or how about outlawing cheating on a spouse? No, the gays that are married now haven't been in the news for ruining marriage. But Larry King and the late Elizabeth Taylor (God rest her soul) were all over the news for their latest of multiple marriages and divorces.

All I'm saying is this Prop H8 is only out to do one thing and one thing only and trust it is not save the "sanctity" of marriage. It is to discriminate against homosexuals, to try and reduce their stature to that of a second class citizen. It isn't to protect families (remember 2/3 of divorces have children that are minors), it certainly isn't to reduce the rate of divorce either. Yet here we are battling to have the same rights as everyone else? I thought we were all to be granted the same rights and liberties as the next, is that not what our founding fathers wanted?