Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Judges uphold privacy of Prop. 8 proponents' communiques

* Cool pic, huh? Can't take credit - I snagged it here.

Hey there, readers!

Been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that - almost immediately following my last post, I lost my job, got walking pneumonia, moved out of state and started a new job and a new life (oh, and I did a production of The Sound of Music in there, too, as Sister Sophia). It's been a little nutty, to say the least, but now that the dust is settling, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of blogging here, even if it's just once or twice a month, to keep you apprised of the latest Prop. 8 / traditional marriage news.

And what better way to return than to share some great news! The Los Angeles Times reports:
Gay marriage supporters challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 lost their bid Friday to see the internal communications of those who supported the initiative when an appeals court ruled that disclosure would violate the 1st Amendment.

Lawyers for two couples denied licenses to marry because they are of the same sex had sought access to e-mails and letters among Proposition 8 backers, hoping to show that the campaign aimed to stir "discriminatory animus" toward gays and lesbians.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco had ordered the initiative backers to make available those documents that reflected the internal thinking of campaign organizers and key contributors.

The Yes-on-8 side, led by the Protect Marriage group, objected to disclosure and turned to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with their arguments that the request was irrelevant and unduly burdensome and that the communications are protected by the 1st Amendment...

"We reverse," the three 9th Circuit judges, all appointees of President Clinton, said in an expedited ruling released Friday afternoon. "The freedom to associate with others for the common advancement of political beliefs and ideas lies at the heart of the 1st Amendment."

Disclosing the inner workings of the Proposition 8 campaign "would have the practical effect of discouraging the exercise of 1st Amendment associational rights," the judges said, adding that the initiative's foes had failed to show that their need to review the
communications outweighed the defendants' rights and interests.

Andy Pugno, general counsel for Protect Marriage, said Proposition 8 backers were
"very pleased" with the appellate ruling.
Well, I agree with Andy Pugno - I, too, am very pleased with this ruling. The First Amendment is CRITICAL to preserving our nation's amazing freedoms. Whether or not you agree with people's politics, there are some things that should be sacred cows, and freedom of expression is paramount to that.

As I've always said - "I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it."

Trust me, it's something I came across aplenty as a journalist in Orange County's most liberal community. What I thought of the issues and decisions made in the town wasn't important - what mattered was that I provided a platform for both sides to make their opinions and views known. If only that courtesy would go both ways...

It's good to be back. :)


Chairm said...

Whether it is publicizing names on petititons or chasing down small financial contributors or, in this case, prying into email communications, I just don't recall marriage defenders giving that stuff high priority the way that the SSM campaigners do.

It probably is not because we are just more courteous, or less ready to fight for our beliefs and principles, or that we are indifferent when things go against our side of the issues. No. Maybe it just doesn't occur to us to play dirty on something of this great importance.

I dunno, but I am with you on the idea of "if only it went both ways."

Cheers -- and welcome back.

Anonymous said...
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Yours, Sincerely said...

Um, wow, never a dull moment! Glad you're feeling better, and back to posting! And yes, the news for Prop 8 supporters is a wonderful breath of fresh air, after the fetid stink of hypocrisy and grand-standing.