Prop 8 Opponents to Court: Hurry Up!
In some ways the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) is the biggest federal barrier to equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It prevents same sex couples who get married in states where it's legal from getting federal rights bestowed on other married couples, like tax breaks and Social Security benefits when a spouse dies.
So when Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama Administration would no longer defend DOMA, civil rights advocates cheered. Some in the LGBT community, notably Geoff Kors of Equality California, have been seering in their criticism of what they saw as Obama's hypocrisy after promising to be a "fierce advocate" for gay rights in his 2008 campaign.
Less than two hours after that announcement, attorneys opposing Prop. 8 were on a conference call with reporters. Conservative Republican-turned gay rights champion Ted Olson hailed the administration's decision -- and deftly blended it into court filings with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals his side had made.
Olson's team wants the 9th Circuit to lift its stay of federal Judge Vaughn Walker's decision striking down Prop. 8 as unconstitutional. That motion was already in play when Wednesday's blockbuster announcement came from the AG. The reason: Olson et al say justice delayed is justice denied -- and that Prop. 8 brands same sex couples in California as "different, inferior and unequal" forcing them to wear a "badge of inferiority".