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Decision Tuesday in Prop 8 Case
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Decision Tuesday in Prop 8 Case
Decision Tuesday in Prop 8 Case A statement by Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will issue its ruling in our Prop 8 legal challenge. We brought this case on behalf of Equality California and six couples who urgently wish to retain the freedom to marry in California, but the Court's decision will mean so much more to so many-to same-sex couples in California and in states across the country, to those who advocate for minority rights, and to all those who care about equality. The Court's decision will determine whether or not Prop 8 is valid, and whether or not the more than 18,000 marriages that took place between June 16 and November 4, 2008 will continue to be legally valid and recognized by the State of California.

Any ruling that upholds Prop 8 will be a terrible blow to the thousands of LGBT Californians who have the same hopes and dreams for their families as others.

Last May, I stood on the steps of the courthouse and read Chief Justice Ronald George's historic decision that not only brought marriage equality to California, but that also recognized the full humanity of LGBT people. It was an extraordinary moment, and I will always remember reading these words:

"Affording same-sex couples access only to the separate institution of domestic partnership, and denying such couples access to the established institution of marriage, properly must be viewed as impinging upon the right of those couples to have their family relationship accorded respect and dignity equal to that accorded the family relationship of opposite-sex couples."

Will the recognition of our humanity be respected in the Prop 8 challenge ruling on Tuesday?

NCLR, together with our national legal colleagues at Lambda Legal and the ACLU and private counsel from Munger, Tolles & Olson and the Law Office of David Codell, along with a record-breaking number of civil rights organizations, have urged the Court to strike down Prop 8 in order to preserve the defining principle of equality in our constitution and the dignity and equality of same- sex couples. If the Court invalidates Prop 8, we and our many allies will indeed have cause to celebrate: LGBT Californians will continue to have the cherished freedom to marry, and the requirement of equal protection will continue to protect all Californians in the nation's most populous and diverse state.

But what if the Court upholds Prop 8? I can hardly fathom that possibility, but we must be prepared. If we lose, we will mourn, but we will not rest. We will work relentlessly to regain our equality at the ballot and to remind our fellow Californians that all families deserve the same dignity and respect. We have more energy, passion, and allies than ever, and a powerful new generation of activists who are motivated as never before. If we must reverse Prop 8 at the ballot, we will do so-with an unbending conviction in the power of human relationships to soften hearts and change minds.

Win or lose, we cannot rest or quit. We will win-if not on Tuesday, then one day soon. If we all recommit to never stopping until full justice is won, we have the power to achieve full equality-no matter what.

For now, we wait.
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Decision Tuesday in Prop 8 Case
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