NAACP Says California Should Overturn Prop 8; Julian Bond to Keynote HRC’s LA Dinner
February 24, 2009
TWO CHEERS FOR SOLIDARITY: The head honchos at the national NAACP yesterday issued a statement in support of the California Supreme Court overturning Proposition 8 - and not a moment too soon. In a letter to California's legislative leaders, NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous also urged passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7 to put the California legislature on record calling for invalidation of Prop. 8 as an improper and dangerous alteration of the California Constitution. Jealous reiterated the core principles of the NAACP in stating his opposition to Prop 8 in the press release distributed on Monday:
The NAACP's mission is to help create a society where all Americans have equal protection and opportunity under the law. Our Mission Statement calls for the 'equality of rights of all persons.' Prop. 8 strips same-sex couples of a fundamental freedom, as defined by the California State Supreme Court. In so doing, it poses a serious threat to all Americans. Prop. 8 is a discriminatory, unprecedented change to the California Constitution that, if allowed to stand, would undermine the very purpose of a constitution and courts - assuring equal protection and opportunity for all and safeguarding minorities from the tyranny of the majority.
State Senator Mark Leno is the lead author of legislation to declare the California Senate's support for overturning Prop 8. The bill, SR 7, is scheduled to heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today. The House version (HR 5), authored by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on February 17 and should be voted on soon. Both bills are sponsored by Equality California. The Human Rights Campaign worked with Equality California to submit letters to State Sen. Leno and Assemblyman Ammiano in support of SR 7 (.DOC) and HR 5 (.DOC). The California Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5 in lawsuits contesting the constitutionality of Prop 8. According to the NAACP, the California State Conference of the NAACP filed briefs with the California Supreme Court in the legal challenge against Prop. 8, arguing that the measure drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California's Constitution and that the rights of a minority cannot be eliminated by a simple majority vote. Several other civil rights organizations, faith leaders, unions and leading corporations also filed briefs urging the invalidation of Prop. 8. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond continued his long-standing support for LGBT civil rights:
The NAACP has long opposed any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any groups or individuals from guarantees of equal protection. We urge the legislature to declare that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper protective process and should be overturned as an invalid alteration that vitiated crucial constitutional safeguards and fundamental American values, threatening civil rights and all vulnerable minorities.
And here's more good news: We've arranged for Julian Bond to be the keynote speaker at HRC's Los Angeles Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 14. Click here for ticket information.