Kate Kendell of NCLR believes “Court will do the right thing” and overturn Prop 8

activism, lgbt, politics Add comments

katekendallKate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), expressed hope and optimism this past week that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, particularly in light of recent polling and the recent same-sex marriage victories in other states.

From Kendell’s blog:

With its groundbreaking marriage decision a year ago, the California Supreme Court set us on a path that – despite some setbacks – has led to one marriage victory a week in the past month: A first-ever unanimous state supreme court ruling in Iowa; a huge victory in Vermont, where there was strong enough support for marriage equality to override their Governor’s veto; and tremendous movement in the legislatures of New Hampshire and Maine, with similar progress likely in the months ahead in New York and New Jersey. The result has been a profound sea change in public opinion, including my own view of what the next month will bring here in California.

Just this week, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed “a sharp shift in public opinion on same-sex marriage. Forty-nine percent said it should be legal for gay people to marry” – an 11 point shift from a similar poll conducted by the Post just three years ago.

I have always believed the California Supreme Court should strike down Prop 8 because the law is so overwhelmingly on our side. But I feared that other factors might result in an adverse decision. That fear has now been replaced by hope as courts and legislatures – as well as public opinion – have moved sharply in our direction. The Court can cement its legacy by overturning Prop 8 and upholding our Constitution’s promise of equal protection. Or it can cause untold pain and hardship to our community and forever undermine the independence of the judiciary and the historic role of the courts in protecting minority rights.

I believe the Court will do the right thing.

In April I heard Kendell speak at an Equality California “looking forward” townhall, where she described what it would take to bring marriage equality back to California. The advice is worth repeating, even in light of recent victories and whether the courts overturn Prop 8 or not.

“Because if the 350,000 people we need to move to our side next time, whether it’s 2010 or whether it’s later, do not sense that we are part of their human family, they are not going to change their vote. So I don’t care how it happens, I don’t care what medium people use, but everyone in this room, has to be uncomfortable—Every. Single. [email protected] Day. Every single day you have to be made uncomfortable, whether it’s a conversation with a cab driver, or the person you drop off your dry-cleaning to, or your neighbor or a family member. If every single day you are made uncomfortable, and butterflies in the stomach, by the conversation that you are having, where you risk your privilege by talking about the reality of your life, we could win in 2010. But that is what it is going to require. And it’s you and every single person you know, that must be willing to have that conversation every single day.”

In the end its more about changing hearts and minds for a lasting victory than any court ruling or vote.

Post by ILO on 05/03/09 at 12:43 pm