Prop 8: Supreme Court oral arguments begin

gayagendaBY CHRIS JOHNSON
Washington Blade

The atmosphere at the U.S. Supreme Court was tense on Tuesday as justices hammered attorneys with tough questions on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 — with a particular emphasis on inquiries about standing. Anti-gay groups, such as ProtectMarriage.com, are defending Prop 8 in court because California officials — Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — have elected not to do so. Whether these groups have standing to defend the law is a question posed by the court.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued against Prop 8 on behalf of the Obama administration, saying Prop 8 should be struck down because gay people have “suffered a history of discrimination” and the law should be subject to heightened scrutiny. Verrilli said the Obama administration is “not taking a position” on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized throughout the country as a result of the ruling — but said the door could be open to such a ruling in future cases.

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