Friday, January 16, 2009

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Prop 8 Challenge

On Thursday, January 15th, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed a friend of the court brief challenging California's Proposition 8 on the grounds that the basic rights of a minority group cannot be taken away by a simple majority. LDF joins other civil rights groups, the Asian American Pacific Legal Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Equal Justice Society, and the California NAACP in calling for the invalidation of Prop 8.

"It is imperative that the Supreme Court of California recognize that by allowing Prop 8 to take effect, it is setting a dangerous precedent that allows a bare majority to strip minority groups of their fundamental rights. We are joining this challenge to ensure that the rights of all minority groups are being protected," said John Payton, LDF President and Director-Counsel.

The California Supreme Court recognized marriage as a fundamental right. To take away that right a constitutional revision requiring a two-thirds vote by the state legislature – and not just a simple majority vote – would be needed in order to bar same-sex marriage. If Prop 8 is allowed to stand the fundamental rights of all minority groups will be placed in jeopardy.

"Proposition 8 affects more than just the LGBT community. This decision will ultimately affect how the rights of all minority groups are treated in the state of California," said Anurima Bhargava, Director of LDF's Education Practice.

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