Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let's Call It A Wrap

My husband and myself are SMF (AIRPORT CODE) bound for the Wrap Up Party in Sacramento. It is the end of an era that saw the struggles of the American dream reflected in California. Californians are not in this one a long. But there were positive highlights. The many election reforms are the legacy of the administration. More importantly, ever since I asked the first question to change one person's position on same gender marriage, California has never quite been the same. There was no official appeal of Proposition 8 from the Governor. I was told by someone that more should have been done and that it would. The word was lived up to. I is an administration that I am proup that my husband is a part of "forever" and that we were both a part of "The California Dream Team."

PS: For those with the iPad, try the Flipbook App for Free and change your life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Australian Cousin

Melissa Schilo

Friday, September 17, 2010

This Log Cabin Republican Thanks Fox. . .

and Rupert Murdoch for givimg us GLEE. I cannot believe you allowed Ryan Murphy and company to set it up so the XM RADIO played it at 8 PM e/p time the Tuesday before it aires. Then people started recording it on that machine that lets you download the song "EMPIRE STATE OF MIND" from statelite radio so it's free! Rupert Murdock is awesome.
I am proud to say, "I LOVE FOX FOR GLEE! DO YOU?"

[DADT is gone by the end of the year because there is an evolution in thought and more.]

Monday, August 09, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans Statement on Perry v. Schwarzenegger Ruling

News Release
For Immediate Release
August 4, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans Statement on Perry v. Schwarzenegger Ruling

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans is encouraged by the historic decision to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage, commonly known as Proposition 8.

"The principles of individual liberty and the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness are core American values,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said. “The ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which secures the freedom to marry for all, speaks to the power of making a conservative case for equality. Log Cabin Republicans thanks Ted Olson, David Boies and American Foundation for Equal Rights for their victory today."

Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and a Republican appointee, concluded that Proposition 8 "fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, with leading conservative attorney and former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson and respected lawyer David Boies, are responsible for this victory in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

“The principle of equality before the law transcends the left-right divide that so often defines issues in this country,” stated Robert Levy, Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Chairman of the Cato Institute. “Today, people from across that divide came together to fight a law that cut to the very core of our nation’s character. Proposition 8 attempted to deny people an indispensable right vested in all Americans. This Judge and this Court bravely confronted wrongful discrimination and came down on the right side – defending and enforcing equal protection, as demanded by the Constitution.”

Log Cabin Republicans has long been on the front lines fighting for marriage equality in California. In 2008, with the support of Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, it launched “Republicans Against 8,” an award-winning grassroots campaign to secure moderate and conservative opposition to the measure.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

GAME OVER:Court Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Ban in California Arnold Won't Appeal

Thanks To Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commitment To Marriage Equality, Wedding Bells Should Begin Shortly Because There Is No One Left To Appeal.
August 4, 2010

Court Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Ban in California

SAN FRANCISCO — Saying that it discriminates against gay men and women, a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, handing supporters of such unions at least a temporary victory in a legal battle that seems all but certain to be settled by the Supreme Court.
Wednesday’s decision is just the latest chapter in what is expected to be a long battle over the ban — Proposition 8, which was passed in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. Indeed, while striking down Proposition 8, the decision will not immediately lead to any new same-sex marriages being performed in California. Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, immediately stayed his own decision, pending appeals by proponents of Proposition 8, who seem confident that higher courts would hear and favor their position.
But on Wednesday the winds seemed to be at the back of those who feel that marriage is not, as the voters of California and many other states have said, solely the province of a man and a woman.
“Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause,” wrote Judge Walker. “Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.”
Supporters of Proposition 8 said that the decision defied the will of the people of California, and could well be an issue in November’s midterm elections.
“This is going to set off a groundswell of opposition,” said Jim Garlow, the pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., and a prominent supporter of Proposition 8. “It’s going to rally people that might have been silent.”
Wednesday’s decision applied only to California and not to the dozens of other states that have either constitutional bans or other prohibitions against same-sex marriage. Nor does it affect federal law, which does not recognize such unions.
Still, the very existence of federal court ruling recognizing same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, set off cheers of “We won!” from crowds assembled in front of the courthouse in San Francisco. Evening rallies and celebrations were planned in dozens of cities across the state and several across the nation.
In West Hollywood, Ron Cook, 46, an accountant who is gay, said he was thrilled by the decision. “If the court had come back and upheld it,” he said. “I would have moved out of the state.”
The plaintiffs’ case was argued by David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, ideological opposites who once famously sparred in the 2000 Supreme Court battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore over the Florida recount and the presidency. The lawyers brought the case — Perry v. Schwarzenegger — in May 2009 on behalf of two gay couples who said that Proposition 8 impinged on their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.
On Wednesday, Mr. Olson called the decision a “victory for the American people,” and anyone who had been denied rights “because they are unpopular, because they are a minority, because they are viewed differently.”
For advocates of gay rights, same-sex marriage has increasingly become a central issue in their battle for equality, seen as both an emotional indicator of legitimacy and as a practical way to lessen discrimination.
“Being gay is about forming an adult family relationship with a person of the same sex,” said Jennifer Pizer, the marriage project director for Lambda Legal in Los Angeles, who filed two briefs in support of the plaintiffs. “So denying us equality within the family system is to deny respect for the essence of who we are as gay people.”
But Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the defense, said Proposition 8 had nothing to do with discrimination, but rather with the will of California voters who “simply wished to preserve the historic definition of marriage.”
“The other side’s attack upon their good will and motives is lamentable and preposterous,” Mr. Pugno said in a statement.
During the trial, which ended in June, plaintiffs offered evidence from experts on marriage, sociology and political science, and emotional testimony from the two couples who had brought the case. Proponents for Proposition 8 offered a much more straightforward defense of the measure, saying that same-sex marriage damaged traditional marriage as an institution and that marriage was historically rooted in the need to foster procreation, which same-sex unions cannot, and was thus fundamental to the existence and survival of the human race.
But Judge Walker seemed skeptical of those claims. “Tradition alone, however,” he wrote, “cannot form the rational basis for a law.”
Even before appeals to higher courts, Judge Walker seemed ready to continue to hear arguments, telling both sides to submit responses to his motion to stay the decision by Friday, at which point he could lift or extend it.
How the decision might play politically was also still unclear. In 2004, same-sex marriage was seen as a wedge issue that helped draw conservatives to the polls, and Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues, said that this decision could be used as a rallying cry for Republicans again. “But Democrats and most importantly President Obama will now have to take sides on whether gays deserve full equality,” Mr. Socarides wrote in an e-mail.
In California, it could also affect the race for governor. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has been vocal in his support of same-sex marriage in his current role as California attorney general and hailed the decision on Wednesday. Meg Whitman, a Republican, has taken the position that marriage should be between a man and a woman — in line with the language of Proposition 8 — though she says that she strongly supports the state’s domestic partnership laws, which afford many of the same rights as marriage.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a statement on Wednesday supported the ruling, saying it “affirms the full legal protections” for thousands of gay Californians.
Some gay rights activists initially feared the case, believing that a loss at a federal level could set back their more measured efforts to gain wider recognition for same-sex marriage, which is legal in five states and the District of Columbia. But those concerns seemed to fade as the trial began, and on Wednesday, the mood was of elation and cautious optimism that Mr. Boies and Mr. Olson’s initial victory might change the debate.
Kate Kendell, executive director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that she believed that there were members of the Supreme Court who “have a very deep-seated bias against L.G.B.T. people,” meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. But, she added, “This legal victory profoundly changes the conversation” by involving “folks in the legal world and the policy world who were previously unmoved by this struggle.”
For those who had actually filed the suit, Wednesday’s victory, while measured, also seemed sweet.
“This decision says that we are Americans, too. We too should be treated equally,” said Kristin M. Perry, one of the plaintiffs. “Our family is just as loving, just as real and just valid as anyone else’s.”
Jesse McKinley reported from San Francisco, and John Schwartz from New York. Malia Wollan contributed reporting from San Francisco, and Rebecca Cathcart from West Hollywood, Calif.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: August 5, 2010
An earlier version of the multimedia presentation running with this article reversed the surnames of the plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's Proposition 8 Ruling

California Prop 8 Ruling (August 2010)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

California Log Cabin Republicans Responds to Prop 8 Case Decision

California Log Cabin Republicans Responds to Prop 8 Case Decision

(Los Angeles, CA) – In response to the decision by US District Judge Vaughn Walker in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, California Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) issued the following response from LCR State Chairman Leonard M. Lanzi:

“Today, all Californians have had their rights strengthened through the court’s decision. As Republicans, we are heartened that plaintiff’s attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies used core conservative principles of privacy, liberty and freedom to convince the court that Prop 8 should be overturned. While we anticipate this decision to appealed to the highest court in the land, Log Cabin Republicans will continue our work to change hearts and minds in all communities across the California.”

NEWSFLASH: Charles Moran, VP of LCR-CA, will be a guest on The Alan Colmes Show on the Fox Radio network at 7:15 pm PT, 08.04.2010 discussing the Prop 8 decision.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2011 Application of the Year: QR Judicial Intelligence iPhone APP

(The QR Code Available On All Smartphones - Use Your Smartphone To Discover The Next Platform in TRUTH) THE FOLLOWING WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY or any know associated individuals) Kevin Norte: Involvement In Challenges To Proposition 8 Related Resources : Kevin Norte : Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2007 Inaugural Committee : IN Los Angeles Magazine article : Ryan J. Davis : Blog Cabin : OUT Inside The Cabin Blog Involvement In Challenges To Proposition 8 Kevin Norte authored an opinion piece in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise of Los Angeles six days after the California Supreme Court's ruling on May 15, 2008 ruling in In re Marriage Cases 2008 43 Cal. 4th 757. That case is precedent-setting because it found the right to Same-sex marriage in California. Norte analyzed the repercussion the case would have on Proposition 8, the ballot initiative on the November 4, 2008 ballot. That case found several constitutional rights under the California Constitution and Kevin queried whether those constitutional rights could be simply abolished by a voter initiative or would the legislature have to place a constitutional revision on the ballot or determine whether a constitutional convention would have to be held. Kevin Norte is the first legal analyst to publish an article in a legal newspaper of public record on the interactions between the historic Supreme Court's ruling and the California Initiative process. He explored the topic further in another expanded article in the Met-News on June 17, 2008, the first full day that gay marriage became legal in California. The legal education piece was entitled, "Election Law: How One Legally Might Remove a Ballot Initiative Prior to an Election". Norte posited that the language of the initiative was flawed and outdated. The legal analyst concluded that one could legitimately argue that the Court order the "California Secretary of State, to remove the proposed 'Limit on Marriage' Constitutional Amendment Initiative California Proposition 8 2008Proposition 8 from the November, 2008 ballot." The Supreme Court rejected this argument on July 16, 2008 without comment or ruling on the merits of the "revision" argument. On June 20, 2008, the pro-same-gender marriage parties file a Writ of Mandate in the California Supreme Court in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle reporter Bob Elko reported that the coalition filed a writ to seek removal of the initiative. The grounds state in the writ petition were similar to those discussed in both the May 21, 2008 and June 17, 2008 articles authored by Norte but failed to reference the official reporter pages of the case. Kevin's second article contained the proper citations. Norte regularly contributes articles and opinion pieces on Proposition 8 to the Met-News the online OpEd News and BLOGCABIN. In January 2009, the law firm of White and Case submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Log Cabin Republicans in the Supreme Court challenge to Proposition 8 based on Norte's writings. On May 26, 2009 the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of California's Proposition 8, however Associate Justice Carlos Moreno most recently considered for an appointment to the United States Supreme Court basically agreed with Norte's analysis. Moreno held that Prop. 8 should have been voided as an unlawful amendment. "The majority's holding is not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution", he wrote. In the meantime, the Court carved out an exception for the 18,000 couples married while it was legal in California, including the Nortes. The former Solicitor General of the United States, Theodore Olson, filed a challenge to Proposition 8 in Federal Court based on a violation of Federal Equal Protection using the historic ROMER case as its precedent. As of 2010, Kevin authored a follow-up opinion piece to his 2008 marriage articles in which he praised California Supreme Court Associate Justice Carlos Moreno for having the courage for arguing that Norte's Revisionist Theory of Marriage is the correct analysis of the California Constitution, that issues like the constitutional right to "gay marriage" is a "legally certainty" but that it will not be "politically correct" for some time, and encouraged Judge Vaughn Walker to do the right thing and strike down California's Propposition 8 for what it is -- discrimination." After Judge Vaughn Walker handed down his decision finding California's Proposition 8 "discrimination" echoing Norte's opinion expressed in his article, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in keeping his commitment to his friends, Log Cabin Republicans and the LGBT community in general sought to have the ruling applied immediately and commented. "The administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the court's judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California", lawyers for Schwarzenegger said in the legal filing. "Doing so is consistent with California's long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect." Related Categories Category:Living people Category:Duos Category:Year of birth missing (living people) Sub-Topics for Kevin Norte Kevin Norte (overview) Don Norte Kevin Norte Log Cabin Republicans Involvement In Challenges To Proposition 8 Context Of Same Sex Couples Taking One Name In California 38 Related Topics about Kevin Norte AFL-CIO .. American .. Arnold Schwarzenegger .. Bobby Shriver .. California Constitution .. California Supreme Court .. California .. Equality California .. Fiona Ma .. GLAAD .. Hollywood .. Huffington Post .. In re Marriage Cases .. John Duran .. Log Cabin Republicans .. Los Angeles County .. Los Angeles .. Martin Ludlow .. Matt Foreman .. Paul Koretz .. Proposition 8 .. Rent Stabilization Commission .. Republican Party .. Republican .. Same-sex marriage in California .. State Bar of California .. Susan Berman .. The Huffington Post .. The Los Angeles Times .. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force .. The Trevor Project .. West Hollywood .. constitutional rights .. domestic partner .. gay rights .. law clerk .. openly .. trustee ..

California's Government Moves Too Slow To Fix Minor Problems

When I originally wrote about the Problems with California's revised Code of Civil Procedure § 1005 (effective 01.01.2005) in a 2004 article published by the Daily Journal, I was on member of the State Bar's Committee on the Administration of Justice. That was my issue but it was never resolved and after term limits, I left in 2006, with a request, that some day they correct this mistake.

Happily on July 6, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that explained exactly how one is to "COUNT DAYS" for purposes of filing motions with the Court.

Finally, the confusing and extended controversy has been resolved about counting days. (CCP § 1005.)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 2119, sponsored by The State Bar of California Committee on Administration of Justice, which determines how days will be computed; there had been some dispute as to whether you counted forward or backward in determining whether a motion was timely filed or not.

SECTION 1. Section 12c is added to the Code of Civil
Procedure, to read:
12c. (a) Where any law requires an act to be performed no
later than a specified number of days before a hearing date, the
last day to perform that act shall be determined by counting
backward from the hearing date, excluding the day of the hearing
as provided by Section 12.
(b) Any additional days added to the specified number of days
because of a particular method of service shall be computed by
counting backward from the day determined in accordance with
subdivision (a).

New Law on Filing Deadlines Results in Ambiguities
Focus Column
By Kevin Norte

AB3078, approved by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 15, 2004, amends, in part, Section 1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure effective for motions made on or after Jan. 1. Attorneys need to be aware of this change in the law - and some resulting ambiguities.

Existing law provides for the deadlines, by reference to calendar days, for service of specified moving, supporting and opposing papers regarding motions and other hearings, as well as the deadline for the completion of discovery proceedings before trial and the deadline for demands involving the exchange of information concerning expert witnesses before trial.

The newly enacted statute revises those deadlines by referring to court days while leaving intact the references to calendar days for mailings, rather than just referring to calendar days or court days. AB3078 also makes other related changes.

The new rules to remember are that, unless an order shortening time is obtained, motions, demurrers and preliminary injunctions (where no temporary restraining order is issued) made on or after Jan. 1 must be filed at least 16 court days before the hearing. Oppositions must be filed nine court days before the hearing, and replies must be filed five court days before the hearing.

These amendments provide no benefit to parties who make motions before the effective date because amendments of this type are prospective and can only affect a notice of a hearing to be held after the effective date. See Civil Code Section 3 cf. Strauch v. Superior Court, 107 Cal.App.3d 45 (1980); De Miglio v. Superior Court, 115 Cal.App.3d 973 (1981).

The only motion that can be filed nine court days before the hearing is a motion to strike a demurrer. Code of Civil Procedure Section 435(b)(3).

AB3078 incorporates further changes to the Civil Discovery Act, set forth in AB3081 (effective July 1, 2005), which also was signed by the governor. AB3081, however, does not affect the operative date of the revisions to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1005(b).

Under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1005.5, a motion is deemed to have been made, and to be pending before the court for all purposes, on due service and the filing of the notice of motion. Cromwell v. Cummings, 65 Cal.App.4th Supp. 10 (1998).

Under Code of Civil Procedure Section 12, the notice period is computed by excluding the day that service was made (the date of mailing, for example) and includes the last day, unless it is a holiday - in which case it is also excluded. Lamanna v. Vognar, 17 Cal.App.4th Supp. 4 (1993) (three-day-weekend rule).

According to Government Code Section 6806, "[a] day is the period of time between any midnight and the midnight following." In computing days, "fractions are not counted but are deemed entire days." People v. Harvey, 193 Cal.App.3d 767 (1987).

For oppositions, Section 1005(b) requires service and filing "at least nine court days" before the hearing; therefore, the problem with the prior statute's 10th day's falling on a weekend is resolved. Before the change, the papers must be filed on the last day the court is open for business before the 10th day (See Steele v. Bartlett, 18 Cal.2d 573 (1941) (permitting "an extension would be to nullify legislative intent that an act must be performed more than a designated number of days before the event specified.") The same holds true for replies.

What has not changed is the requirement that proofs of service of the moving papers shall be filed no later than five calendar days before the hearing. State Rule of Court 317(c).

There are some delivery exceptions to the state's new 16-court-day plus either 2-5-10-20 additional calendar days for fax, express, mail in-state, mail out-of-state and mail out-of-country minimum-notice requirements. While not inclusive, the main requirements are at least 75 days' notice for summary judgment/adjudications (Code of Civil Procedure Section 437(a)) and 45 days' notice for discretionary dismissal motions based on delay in prosecution (Code of Civil Procedure Section 373 (a).

There remains the issue of notice regarding protective orders related to discovery motions. Whether sought affirmatively or in response to a discovery motion, these types of motions are subject to the Code of Civil Procedure Section 1005 notice provisions because protective orders may be issued only "pursuant to a motion." Code of Civil Procedure Sections 2017(c) and 2019(c).

Local rules related to motions and demurrers are pre-empted by state Rule of Court 981.1(a), and any local rule concerning these fields is null and void. Of course, the exception to this rule is the "local local rule" that the time and place of the filing, and the service of a motion in limine, shall be at the discretion of the trial judge. State Rule of Court 312(d)

It is questionable whether the five-calendar-day reply rule on motions to certify or decertify a class or amend or modify an order certifying a class under state Rule of Court 1854(c) remains valid, because that term is shorter than the legislated five-court-day rule for replies. See Laborers' International Union v. El Dorado Landscape Co., 208 Cal.App.3d 993 (1989).

Under a similar analysis, state Rule of Court 313(i) conflicts with the Code of Civil Procedure. While the Rule of Court states that, "to the extent practicable, all supporting memorandum, declarations, and affidavits must be attached to the motion," Code of Civil Procedure Section 1005(b) states that "all moving and supporting papers much be filed at least 16 court days before the hearing."

A temporary restraining order can remain in effect for up to 15 calendar days, unless the court permits a 22-calendar-day period for good cause shown. Code of Civil Procedure Sections 513.010(a) and 527(d)(1).

Under the revised Section 1005, a defendant is entitled to 16 court days' notice on a motion for a preliminary injunction, and, therefore, if good cause is not shown, the temporary restraining order would dissolve before the motion for a preliminary injunction's being heard. Further, even if good cause is shown, the plaintiff may face detrimental timing issues if he or she is not careful.

There are also some exceptions to the notice rules in the event of a natural disaster (earthquake, fire or flood, for example) and civil unrest (including riots and terrorist attacks). If a branch court in a particular county is closed during such an event, it is not a considered holiday. If, however, all the courthouses where the document can be filed (that is, in an entire county) are closed, then the day would count as a court holiday in that county. Bennett v. Suncloud, 56 Cal.App.4th 91 (1997).

Thirteen 13 holidays cannot be included in the counting of court days when filing motions with the court.

It does make a difference whether one first counts 16 court days or first the five calendar days, or whether one counts backward from the hearing date or forward from the date of the proof of service, because the sequence determines how many noncourt days are included or excluded in a particular count.

No published state case has been found discussing priority of applying a count of mixed calendar and court days. Hence, a resolution of the question here is one of statutory interpretation.

Legislative interpretation begins by examination of the language of the statute, giving the words their ordinary meaning and considering them in the context of the statutory framework. Barnes v. Department of Corrections, 74 Cal.App.4th 126 (1999).

Also, Section 1013(a) provides no precedent for counting under Section 1005, because Section 1013 uses different language from Section 1005 amendments, using "increased" and "before the hearing."

Section 1013(a) states, "[A]ny period of notice ... shall be extended five calendar days, upon service by mail." So Section 1013 presents no problem as to what kind of days to extend and where to count them (since they match old Section 1005's use of calendar days, without mixing day types).

One logical interpretation of the amended Section 1005 is to follow the sequence in which it reads - that is, 16 court days, increasing by five calendar days "before the hearing" for mailing, such that the calendar days fall on the later dates.

On the other hand, the rule leaves enough ambiguity that, arguably, the five calendar days could be counted as the earlier days. To demonstrate the differences, below are some applied hypothetical scenarios.

On a computer calculator, CalDays (at, calculating notice starting with calendar days for a notice date of Nov. 30, 2005, the earliest allowed hearing date was Dec. 28, 2005. However, calculating notice starting with court days, the earliest hearing date was Dec. 27, 2005.

As another example, counting manually for an Nov. 30, 2005, hearing date, counting backward and starting with calendar days gives a service date of Nov. 1, 2005. In contrast, for an Nov. 30, 2005, hearing date, counting backward and starting with court days gives a service date of Oct. 29, 2005.

Of course, if there is opposition on the merits, then issues of proper notice are waived. Defects in motion service are waived where an opposition was filed addressing the merits. Carlton v. Quint, 77 Cal.App.4th 690 (2000), modified 2000 C.D.O.S. 928.

At this juncture, whether court days are counted before counting calendar days is open to interpretation and susceptible to vigorous debate among some in the legal community. The use of CalDays should be encouraged, but it is just one tool in the process of deciding whether a motion was timely made or not.

Kevin Norte, a court research attorney, is a member of the State Bar's Committee on the Administration of Justice.


© 2004 Daily Journal Corporation. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


How the GOP is Saving Gay Marriage
By Joshua Green
Last week, a US District Court judge in Boston struck down a significant portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that the controversial 1996 federal law violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by denying gay and lesbian couples the federal benefits afforded to straight couples. Although Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, couples who wed were prohibited from claiming Social Security survivors' benefits, filing joint tax returns, and leaving work to care for a sick spouse. The court ruled that the federal government must treat the state's gay married couples the same way as everyone else. ''The Constitution 'neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,' '' the court opined, echoing the words of Justice John Harlan, the lone dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson, the notorious 1896 Supreme Court case that upheld racial segregation.

Nearly as significant as the decision itself is the political affiliation of the judge who made it: 79-year-old Joseph Tauro, the longest-serving appointee of Richard Nixon. Why is this significant? Because while the recent confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan dwelt on whether ''activist'' liberal judges appointed by Democrats would trample legal precedent, the judges who have begun the constitutional protection of same-sex marriage have mostly been Republican appointees like Tauro.

Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a gay-marriage ban on the grounds that it violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the state constitution. The unanimous decision was written by Justice Mark Cady, a conservative placed on the court by the former Republican governor Terry Branstad. In 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court struck down a comparable prohibition in an opinion written by Justice Richard Palmer, an appointee of Governor Lowell Weicker, a three-term Republican senator who became an independent. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling was written by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, named to the court by one Republican governor (William Weld) and elevated to chief justice by another (Paul Cellucci).

This summer's other major ruling on gay marriage, along with Tauro's, will come from the federal district court in California, where Chief Judge Vaughn Walker will decide whether to overturn the state's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage. The betting is that he will, which would be notable not only because of his political lineage but because Walker's nomination by Ronald Reagan was thwarted by Democrats -- led by the current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi -- who believed he was prejudiced against homosexuals. They were mistaken. Reappointed by George H.W. Bush and this time confirmed, Walker demonstrated no prejudice.

The Tauro and Walker rulings are federal decisions, and particularly salient as such. For years, federal courts were considered hostile territory for gay rights advocates, ever since Bowers v. Hardwick, the first of three Supreme Court decisions affecting prospects for gay marriage. The Bowers decision of 1986 upheld states' right to criminalize same-sex intimacy, and did so in a sneering majority opinion -- written by Byron White, a Democratic appointee -- that suggested a distinct contempt for any claims to gay rights.

Two subsequent decisions hinted at a thaw. In 1996, Romer v. Evans derailed an attempt to overturn state and municipal anti-discrimination laws, on which activists had focused after Bowers. In contrast to that decision, the majority opinion in Romer was strikingly respectful; it, too, quoted Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson. In 2003, Lawrence v. Texas invalidated state sodomy laws, explicitly overruling Bowers in the process. The Court further held that ''the intimate, adult consensual conduct at issue'' was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Both decisions were written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, another Reagan appointee. If either of this summer's federal decisions get to the Supreme Court, Kennedy will likely cast the deciding vote -- which would, in the end, be most fitting.

What all these judges share is their distinctiveness from Republican appointments over the last two decades, who tend to be activists affiliated with conservative outfits like the Federalist Society -- think John Roberts and Samuel Alito. This makes the Republican pedigrees of the judges moving gay marriage toward legality all the more striking, particularly in how it contrasts with conservative outcries about judicial activism. But more than that, it's a gauge of how far from the mainstream modern conservative jurists have drifted.

Joshua Green writes a weekly column for the Boston Globe.

This article available online at:
Copyright © 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


California trial opens on "don't ask, don't tell"
Log Cabin Republicans challenge the constitutionality of the policy, will enter Obama statements into evidence
By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press
An attorney for the nation's largest Republican gay rights group has told a judge he will use a statement by President Obama as part of a federal court lawsuit challenging the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

In his opening statement Tuesday at the trial in Southern California, attorney Dan Woods said he would enter as evidence Obama's comments that the policy has weakened national security.

Woods is representing the Log Cabin Republicans. The group wants the judge to halt the policy that prohibits military members from acknowledging they are gay and requires them to be discharged if they are discovered to be gay.

The case puts the government in the position of defending the policy while Obama is pushing Congress to repeal it.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A Republican gay rights group is challenging the constitutionality of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in federal court amid congressional debate to repeal the policy.

If the Log Cabin Republicans win their case, their lawyer says he will ask a federal judge to halt the policy immediately nationwide.

Opening arguments were set to began Tuesday in the broadest challenge to "don't ask, don't tell" in recent years.

The policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered to be engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their off-base homes.

"We're trying to get this changed right away. After all, there are people today fighting, dying for our country, while their constitutional rights are being violated," said attorney Dan Woods, who represents the Log Cabin Republicans, whose 19,000 members include current and former military members.

Some legal experts say the trial could not come at a worse time for Obama, who derided the policy but has failed to get it off the books since taking office last year. Not only are midterm elections approaching, but the group suing the U.S. government is Republican.

"This trial is taking place as a direct consequence of the president's political decision in January 2009 to put the repeal of this law on the back burner," said Richard Socarides, an attorney and a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues. "We shouldn't still be living under a law that excludes people from military service because they are gay."

Socarides added the fact that the U.S. Justice Department will be defending the policy in court is nonsensical.

"On the one hand, the president has said he's working hard to stop these discharges. And on the other hand, the Justice Department is spending taxpayer dollars defending their ongoing right to kick people out," Socarides said.

In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press, the Justice Department said it is "defending the statute, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged."

But the agency also noted the position of Obama, who is working with military leaders and Congress to repeal the law.

"The President believes and has repeatedly affirmed that 'don't ask, don't tell' is a bad policy that harms our national security and undermines our military effectiveness because it requires the discharge of brave Americans who wish to serve this country honorably," the Justice Department said.

The government tried to block the case from going to trial, arguing among other things that courts should not decide constitutional issues and that a trial was unnecessary because of ongoing congressional debate.

The U.S. House voted May 27 to repeal the policy, and the Senate is expected to take up the issue this summer.

In deciding to hear the challenge, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the "possibility that action by the legislative and executive branches will moot this case is sufficiently remote."

Woods said he wants a federal injunction. If that happens and the government appeals, Woods said he will ask Phillips to suspend the policy until the case is decided.

The case is unique in that it is not based on an individual's complaint but rather is a broad, sweeping attack on the policy.

The group says more than 13,500 service members have been fired under the law since 1994.

Gay troops at bases in the West have greater protections than their colleagues around the globe because of a 2008 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that forced the military to apply a much higher threshold in determining whether a service member should be dismissed for being gay.

That ruling was in a lawsuit filed by Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse, who argued her dismissal actually hurt troop readiness and morale because there was a shortage of flight nurses at the time. The court ruled that for a gay service member's discharge to be constitutional, the military must demonstrate that the firing promotes cohesion or discipline in the unit.

Known as the "Witt standard," it became law in the court's jurisdiction covering Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

"One option for the judge is to sit on it awhile and see if Congress goes ahead and does repeal it," said Paul Smith, a civil rights attorney in Washington, D.C. "It seems to me most federal judges would go about with the case and let the chips fall where they may."


Risling reported from Los Angeles.

LOG CABIN DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL-The Only Suit Still Standing

LOG CABIN DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL-The Only Suit Still Standing
Los Angeles Times
Copyright 2010 Los Angeles Times

July 13, 2010

Section: LATExtra

'Don't ask' policy faces legal test
A GOP group asks a U.S. court in Riverside to overturn the military's rule on gays.

Phil Willon

The U.S. government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay military service members will be at the center of a legal battle played out in a federal courtroom in Riverside on Tuesday, with the policy facing its first major constitutional challenge since a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Texas case struck down anti-sodomy laws.

In its lawsuit against the government, the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, argues that the Texas ruling means the military can no longer interpret a mere admission of homosexuality as justification for a discharge.

The group also contends that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is discriminatory and violates lesbians' and gay men's constitutional rights to due process, freedom of speech and right to association. It asks U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips for a permanent injunction that would forbid the government to enforce the policy.

During the trial, Log Cabin attorneys are expected to focus their case on other countries that allow gays and lesbians in the military, as well as experts and veterans who are expected to testify that most service members in today's military have no objection to serving with gays and lesbians.

Among those testifying will be Jenny Kopfstein of San Diego, a decorated Navy officer who was discharged in 2002. Kopfstein felt that, while serving on the guided missile cruiser Shiloh, she was forced to "lie, or tell half-truths, to my shipmates" about her sexual orientation. She wrote a letter to her commanding officer in 2000 telling him that she is a lesbian.

"When I arrived at my ship, everyone wanted to get to know me, to find out what kind of person I was," said Kopfstein, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate. "It was like a slow pressure cooker, where all these questions built up and I couldn't answer them honestly.... I felt totally and utterly alone."

The legal challenge goes to trial as the military's policy on gays continues to roil Congress and provided one of the rare partisan flashpoints in the recent confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who criticized the law as a "profound wrong" while dean of Harvard Law School.

The lead attorney for the Log Cabin Republicans said the "cruel irony" is that Justice Department attorneys in court have been arguing the opposite -- saying Congress passed the ban on gays to preserve military readiness and cohe-siveness.

Attorney Dan Woods also said that despite indications Congress may repeal the law, there is no guarantee that will occur.

"It's certainly not going to happen this year," said Woods, a Los Angeles-based attorney at the White & Case law firm who is working pro bono.

"While patriotic homosexuals are serving in the military now, and fighting and dying for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's important for them to have their constitutional rights validated now, immediately."

Bolstering the plaintiff's argument is a 2008 decision by the U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt, who was discharged after her superiors learned she lived with a woman off-base in Washington state.

The court determined that the military had to show that the discharge was necessary to maintain policy goals such as military readiness or unit cohesion.

Combined with the Texas case, the two rulings have put a greater burden on the government to show that having gays and lesbians in the military creates an unacceptable risk to military capabilities, said constitutional scholar Kenji Yoshino of the New York University School of Law.

"If you asked me prior to 2003 would this case have any chance of succeeding, I would have said no. Now, I'm not so sure," Yoshino said.

Still, Yoshino said the courts historically have "kept their nose out of military affairs," because the Constitution places the responsibility for regulating the military exclusively on the executive and legislative branches of government: "That's why the government has won case after case on this."

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was adopted by the Clinton administration in 1993 and was considered a reform to the military's practice of seeking out and discharging gays and lesbians. Under the policy, as long as gays and lesbians keep their sexual orientation secret, they are allowed to serve.

However, more than 10,000 service members have been discharged under the policy.

President Obama has been an outspoken critic of the policy and continues to advocate its repeal.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said that the administration has the obligation to defend acts of Congress, regardless of any policy changes under consideration.

"The president believes and has repeatedly affirmed that 'don't ask, don't tell' is a bad policy that harms our national security and undermines our military effectiveness because it requires the discharge of brave Americans who wish to serve this country honestly," said Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice. "The president and his administration are working with the military leadership and Congress to repeal this law."

Even if the legislation to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" becomes law, it wouldn't take effect unless the Pentagon completes an ongoing study to determine if it can adapt to the change without harming military readiness.

The study is scheduled to be completed in December.

The U.S. House passed a bill that would repeal the policy in May, but it could have a much stiffer challenge in the Senate. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he would support a filibuster, arguing that Congress should wait until the Defense study is completed.

The repeal also has been tacked onto a Defense spending bill that the White House has threatened to veto if Congress weighs down legislation for weapons programs the Pentagon wants to eliminate.

"As much as President Obama promises that 'don't ask, don't tell' will be repealed, there's still a level of distrust there," said Charles Moran, spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans. "The Obama administration has made many promises, and the Democratic Congress has made many promises, to the gay and lesbian community and have not acted on them."


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

LAST DADT LAWSUIT REMAINING: Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" #DADT

Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America
May 29, 2010
|By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

The battle over gays and lesbians in the military shifted to the courts Friday when a federal judge in Southern California rejected the Obama administration's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

President Obama has pressed for repeal of the 1993 law that prohibits military service by homosexuals who reveal their sexual orientation. On Friday, the House passed a defense bill that would revoke the law and change the policy once the Pentagon completes a review of its impact. The Senate is expected to consider the bill this summer.

In the meantime, the Obama administration is defending the law in court against a suit by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay-rights organization, which argues the ban is a discriminatory and irrational measure that serves no legitimate military purpose.

While agreeing that the law is discriminatory, the administration argues that Congress could reasonably decide that openly homosexual soldiers would weaken the armed forces. In seeking dismissal, however, government lawyers argued that the Log Cabin Republicans had no right to sue because they had not identified any members who were threatened with discharge under the policy.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of Riverside disagreed. She said one of the organization's members, identified in the suit only as John Doe, is an Army reserve officer who served in Iraq and faces discharge if he reveals his name.

"This case presents the rare set of circumstances in which anonymity is appropriate," Phillips said. She said the government has argued that John Doe's name is essential to the suit but has refused to promise to protect him from discharge.

She also rejected the administration's argument that the law must be upheld if it has any rational justification. Phillips said she intends to use a more exacting standard, based on a 2008 federal appeals court ruling, requiring the government to show that its intrusion on the private lives of gays and lesbians is necessary to promote an important public interest.

The case could go to trial in July.

E-mail Bob Egelko at
(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Log Cabin Boys In The News

Proud to be at Long Beach for Pride weekend
By Alica Forneret, Santa Monica College CORSAIR Newspaper, May 26, 2010

Staff Writer
It is not a typical Sunday afternoon in Long Beach when you find shirtless, shaven, oiled up men in their underpants wheeling wagons full of condoms down Ocean Avenue. But one weekend a year, the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival gives onlookers that and so much more. 

The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and ally (LGBTQQIA) community came together at the Long Beach Grand Prix Racing Grounds in downtown Long Beach on May 15 and 16. It was two days of blasting music, non-stop drinking, dirty dancing and informative tabling by a wide variety of organizations. Free merchandise, celebrity sightings and art exhibits offered diverse diversions to the partying and good times.

Of the organizations in attendance were the usual suspects, such as the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, AIDS Research Alliance, and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Accompanying these expected, but appreciated, groups were other organizations usually on the outskirts of typical gay activist groups. 

Found nestled between the tents of groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Condom Revolution were LGBTQQIA-inclusive religious organizations such as Temple Israel, law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, and even a group of out-and-proud Republicans. 

Although Pride organizers have invited groups from all walks of gay life to be a part of the event for 27 years, they only recently developed a specific area of the festival for the transgender and queer community. One group that was instrumental in putting together a portion of the "Trans Awareness" section of Pride was AMP. 

AMP is an organization that hosts concerts, art shows, and community events in safe spaces for the do-it-yourself queer community to showcase their talents. 

AMP Executive Director Annie Parkhurst and AMP Program Director Sylvia Rodemeyer think that their attendance at Pride was necessary to provide an outlet for those whose interests are often overlooked at lesbian and gay events. 

"It's all main stream gay stuff out there," said Parkhurst. "Amp is about the subculture, the artists, the bands that want to get out there and do stuff away from the typical feather boa, West Hollywood kind of stuff. That doesn't speak to everybody. That doesn't speak to me."

The Log Cabin Republicans are a group of gay and lesbian equal rights advocates that not only play for the other team but also are on the opposite side of the fence politically than many in the LGBTQQIA population. 

Representing this small group were gay rights activists and married couple Kevin Norte, a California Supreme Court Research Attorney, and Don Norte, a West Hollywood Department of Transportation and Public Works employee.

They find that regardless of how inclusive the general LGBTQQI community demands outsiders to be of their practices, many forget that within the rainbow there is a wide spectrum of beliefs that may not always be liberal. 

"We all talk about the rainbow flag, but the people who are at the end of the rainbow flag have the same right as the people in the center of the rainbow flag," said Kevin Norte.

Regardless of what faction members of the LGBTQQI community people may identify with, the festival opened its gates to a wide range of people interested in simply celebrating gay rights, lifestyles and the acceptance of diversity within the gay community. 

Pride's attendees and volunteers broke many stereotypes and misconceptions about who makes up the gay community. 

"I think there's a real change that's happening in the gay community," said Parkhurst. "The older, whiter, richer people are phasing out and I think there's a new brand of gay that's coming out, and that's queer. It's inclusive. And it's about street people, and gay people, and bi people, and colors and genders of all sorts."

Log Cabin's "JOHN DOE" Has Standing In Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" #DADT

Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America

Deadline nears as judge rejects procedural bar to 'Don't Ask' challenge
Amanda Bronstad, National Law Journal
June 01, 2010

The U.S. government has until next week to make its final pre-trial arguments against a lawsuit alleging that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional.

The deadline neared as Congress moved to repeal the law that bans service in the military by open gays and lesbians. The House of Representatives voted to approve repeal on Friday and a similar measure cleared a key Senate committee on Thursday.

In the lawsuit, which is being brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, who sits in Riverside, Calif., refused on Thursday to grant the government's motion to throw out the case, rejecting the argument that the organization lacked standing. She also concluded that the legal standard for weighing the group's due process claims was established by a 2008 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Witt v. Dep't of the Air Force. She allowed both sides to submit further briefing on that issue.

The government's briefs are due on June 9; the Log Cabin Republicans have until June 23. The group comprises gay and lesbian members of the Republican Party.

"We are delighted with Judge Phillips' ruling on the standing issue and glad that she saw fit to reject that argument by the government," Dan Woods, a partner in the Los Angeles office of White & Case who represents the Log Cabin Republicans, said in an e-mailed statement. "We are cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the motion, which remains to be decided after further briefing requested by the court. If she follows her inclination, as explained towards the end of the decision, she would also be ruling in our favor on the standard of review to be applied to [the law]."

A call to Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller was not returned.

In the meantime, the judge put the original June 14 trial date on hold, and both sides have been unable to come up with a new schedule, Woods said. He expected that a new trial date may be set in July.

In Thursday's order, Phillips disagreed with the government's argument that the Log Cabin Republicans, which filed the suit on behalf of two of its members, lacked standing because the individuals were not "bona fide" members when the suit was filed.

One of the individuals, John Alex Nicholson, joined the U.S. Army in 2001, only to be discharged one year later under the law. He was given an honorary membership in 2006 by the Georgia chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans.

The other individual, who is referred to in court papers as John Doe, joined Log Cabin Republicans in 2004. He is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Phillips said that what mattered was their membership status when the amended complaint was filed, not the original complaint. The original suit was filed in 2004, but Log Cabin Republicans filed an amended complaint in 2006 attaching Nicholson's declaration. In 2007, the group attached Doe's declaration.

"Although it is true that there has been but one named plaintiff here for the duration of the action, an association that newly identifies a member for standing purposes is analogous to a class that newly identifies a class member with standing," the judge said.

Phillips rejected the government's arguments that Doe lacked standing because he had not yet been affected by the law. "Here, the [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] Policy on its face shows that there is a reasonable threat that it will be enforced against Lt. Col. Doe if the military learns his identity," she wrote.

As for the due process claim, the U.S. Air Force in Witt discharged a nurse after superiors learned that she lived with a woman off base. A federal judge threw out her case, but the 9th Circuit reversed, in part based on Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas law that criminalized private, consensual sodomy.

The recent House vote was on an amendment to the defense authorization bill, which also contains money for an alternative engine for the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The White House has indicated it would veto the bill if the engine funds remained.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill this summer. The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved an amendment repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The legislation in both chambers requires that the repeal become law only after a Defense Department review of the policy is completed in December and Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates certify that the military is prepared for the change.

Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at

Senator Ashburn SWITCHING SIDES on Gay Rights?

Outed senator easing stance against gay rights
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

(06-01) 04:00 PDT Sacramento - --

State Sen. Roy Ashburn has begun taking some tentative steps toward backing gay rights, a little less than three months after the Bakersfield Republican was outed after a drunken driving arrest near the Capitol.

He vowed at the time to continue his staunch opposition to the expansion of gay rights - he has one of the strongest anti-gay records of any lawmaker - saying that is how his constituents would have him vote.

But since then, Ashburn has held several meetings at the Capitol with a major gay rights organization that he previously avoided, and on Thursday made an unusually personal speech that showed he is re-evaluating his thinking on some issues. Senate colleagues say he seems happier.

"I would not have been speaking on measures dealing with sexual orientation - ever - prior to the events that have transpired in my life over the last three months," Ashburn said on the Senate floor, surprising some of his colleagues. "However, I am no longer willing or able to remain silent on issues that affect sexual orientation (and) the rights of individuals. So, I am doing something that is quite different and foreign to me and is highly emotional."

Ashburn was arrested March 3 on suspicion of drunken driving after reportedly spending the evening at a Sacramento gay club, and pleaded no contest to the charge in April. Several days after he was arrested, he confirmed that he was gay during a radio interview, during which he also pledged to continue his voting record against gay rights.

Opposing 'don't ask'
But on Thursday, Ashburn argued for a resolution calling on Congress to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military, voting for the measure that he had opposed twice, most recently last year.

"The current policy of 'don't ask, don't tell' is clearly out of date and discriminatory," he said. "I rise in support of this resolution because it calls upon our nation's best instincts and seeks to correct a basic discrimination that is hurtful to people and our country."

But Ashburn voted against another measure that would state explicitly in law that people opposed to performing marriages for same-sex couples for religious reasons would not be forced to do so, and that religious organizations would not lose their tax-exempt status if they did not hold such marriages.

Ashburn said he liked that idea, but the bill, which passed without his support, also inserts the word "civil" before references to marriage in state code.

He called it "troublesome" and noted the vote on Proposition 8 last year, the legal challenges to that proposition that outlawed same-sex marriage and the likelihood that the issue would return to the ballot in future years. He said passing the bill would create "a confusing, untenable situation," though he added that it was "with great difficulty" that he urged the Senate to reject the bill.

In 2005, he helped lead a rally in Bakersfield opposing same-sex marriage, but last week he said "gay marriage is a very complicated issue."

The changes, though minor, have caught the attention of advocates for gay rights.

"Just like everyone else, we were surprised to see these statements come out of his mouth," said Charles Moran, spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP organization.

Changing policy views
Ashburn, a divorced father of four, is the highest-ranking openly gay Republican in California, and while Log Cabin officials have yet to meet with him, Moran said his speech may be the impetus for that.

"Here is somebody who is open and out of the closet and has truly changed their policy position," Moran said, though he added that while gay people have wide-ranging views on marriage, "I still think he may have a long way to go and that's what was demonstrated in his marriage vote."

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the author of the marriage legislation, said he did not understand Ashburn's logic in voting against the bill.

Leno, who is gay, said he hopes Ashburn's being out during his remaining few months in office "will be an opportunity for his leadership not only in his district but also in his caucus to bring some rational thinking and light to the subject of LGBT civil rights." Ashburn is termed out of office at the end of this year.

Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, wrote the "don't ask, don't tell" resolution, and said she thinks Ashburn's openness will spur change in the Republican caucus. Kehoe, who is a lesbian, said Ashburn has told her he feels like a weight has been lifted off him and that he is even contemplating attending the San Diego gay pride event in July.

Gay rights group
Ashburn also has held several meetings with Equality California, the state's largest gay rights group, in the past few months. Ashburn indicated he was "open to learning more about legislation and considering our bills on their merits," said Vaishalee Raja, spokeswoman for Equality California.

Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has been friends with Ashburn for years. The relationship started over a mutual interest in advocating for mental health services, and since Ashburn publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation, Yee said his friend and colleague is more relaxed and seems happier.

"I think whenever you're truthful with yourself, that's a good thing," said Yee, who is straight. "The coming out process is an enlightening process, so I think he's coming to terms with his sexual orientation and that's what you're seeing now."

Ashburn has also been publicly talking about the changes in his life, though he was unavailable to be interviewed for this article. He told a columnist at the Bakersfield Californian that he had stopped drinking alcohol and that he was sorry for many of his votes against gay rights legislation.

He also said he was reassessing much of his life. "I'm taking care of a lot of old baggage," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2010 Hearst Communications Inc.

Log Cabin Republicans Name R. Clarke Cooper As New Executive Director

Log Cabin Names New Director

The Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay and lesbian Republican grass roots organization, has named R. Clarke Cooper as its new executive director, EDGE Boston reports. Cooper served under George W. Bush for eight years in various foreign affairs positions and served in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army.

“Log Cabin is fortunate to have Clarke’s skills and experience to lead the organization at this critical time,” said Terry Hamilton, who serves as the group’s National Board Chairman, in a press release. “As Congress is debating the failed ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, we could not have a better advocate in ensuring that this policy gets overturned.”

Cooper will also head up the Liberty Education Forum, which “focuses on reaching out to conservatives and people of faith about issues affecting gay and lesbian Americans.” Cooper takes over for Patrick Sammon, who lead the Log Cabin Republicans since late 2006.

Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" #DADT To Proceed Despite Obama's Attempt To Dismiss DADT Lawsuit

Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America

'Don't ask, don't tell' suit will go forward
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The battle over gays and lesbians in the military shifted to the courts Friday when a federal judge in Southern California rejected the Obama administration's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

President Obama has pressed for repeal of the 1993 law that prohibits military service by homosexuals who reveal their sexual orientation. On Friday, the House passed a defense bill that would revoke the law and change the policy once the Pentagon completes a review of its impact. The Senate is expected to consider the bill this summer.

In the meantime, the Obama administration is defending the law in court against a suit by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay-rights organization, which argues the ban is a discriminatory and irrational measure that serves no legitimate military purpose.

While agreeing that the law is discriminatory, the administration argues that Congress could reasonably decide that openly homosexual soldiers would weaken the armed forces. In seeking dismissal, however, government lawyers argued that the Log Cabin Republicans had no right to sue because they had not identified any members who were threatened with discharge under the policy.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of Riverside disagreed. She said one of the organization's members, identified in the suit only as John Doe, is an Army reserve officer who served in Iraq and faces discharge if he reveals his name.

"This case presents the rare set of circumstances in which anonymity is appropriate," Phillips said. She said the government has argued that John Doe's name is essential to the suit but has refused to promise to protect him from discharge.

She also rejected the administration's argument that the law must be upheld if it has any rational justification. Phillips said she intends to use a more exacting standard, based on a 2008 federal appeals court ruling, requiring the government to show that its intrusion on the private lives of gays and lesbians is necessary to promote an important public interest.

The case could go to trial in July.

E-mail Bob Egelko at

This article appeared on page A - 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2010 Hearst Communications Inc.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Historical Account Of The Proposition 8 Revision Argument

This week in the perpetual election
July 10, 2008 | 5:22 pm

Legal experts call it a long-shot, but on June 20, several petitioners asked the state Supreme Court to toss Proposition 8, the initiative to restrict marriage to a man and a woman (find a the one-line text of the initiative in pdf, plus the attorney general documents, here). The justices, fresh from their 4-3 ruling that same-sex couples in this state have an equal right to marry (see a pdf of the opinion here), will now have to decide whether their decision turns the ballot measure from a constitutional amendment into a constitutional revision.


It’s like this: Amendments supposedly fine-tune the existing state Constitution, and voters have the power to put them on the ballot by petitioning for initiatives, then adopting them by majority vote. Revisions are rare — sweeping constitutional re-inventions that can be adopted only by convention or placed on the ballot by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

Backers of Proposition 8 went old-school, filing an initiative petition with Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who certified the proposed amendment for the ballot on June 2. Their opponents argue that in the intervening time, the meaning of the state Constitution changed — because of the Cal Supremes’ May 15 ruling in the marriage cases. Now, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others asking the court to block the vote, reversing course on equal protection would be not just an amendment but a revision, and thus it can’t go on the ballot without legislative action or a convention.

There is some spirited disagreement on the origin of revision-versus-amendment argument. “This is something we have been looking at for years,” said NCLR legal director Shannon Minter.

Others argue that approach was crafted just after the court’s ruling by Kevin Norte, a research attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court and a member of the gay GOP organization Log Cabin Republicans. See his May 21 opinion/analysis in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise here, and his June 17 follow-up here. Follow Norte’s blogging on the issue in the Log Cabin’s Blog Cabin, here. The MetNews also published a July 2 opinion piece by attorney Jack Rosenfeld, who argues that Proposition 8 abuses the initiative process.

The analysis Norte articulated forms the basis of one argument put forward by NCLR and other petitioners asking the court to toss the initiative. Another, as explained by Times Staff Writer Maura Dolan in her July 2 story, is that voters who signed the petition were misled into believing that the initiative would not change state law, although that was true enough at the time.

The petitioners’ brief in reply to the opposition by Folsom attorney Andrew Pugno — who is representing backers of Proposition 8 — is due today. It is not yet clear whether the state high court will hear argument or simply rule on the written briefs, but whatever it does must be done quickly. Ballots go to the printer, with or without the initiative, on Aug. 8.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Court Justice Carlos Moreno Revisits Kevin Norte's Proposition 8 Revision Argument And Agrees

Remarks by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno at EQCA Awards dinner Saturday night
by KAREN OCAMB on FEBRUARY 14, 2010 | 6:43 PM

For LGBT people nationwide, California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno is a profile in courage. Despite being among those considered by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy for the U.S. Supreme Court, Los Angeles native Moreno stuck to his principles and was the lone dissenting voice when the California high court voted to uphold Prop 8. Obama picked federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor instead.

Saturday night, Equality California honored Justice Moreno at a gala at City Hall in San Francisco.

Here are Moreno’s remarks, as prepared for delivery.

Remarks by Justice Carlos R. Moreno

Equality California Awards Gala

San Francisco

February 13, 2010

Thank you for that introduction. Truly honored by your invitation and award and I am humbled by your applause and welcome. I do well to introduce you to my wife, Chris (26 years) who inspires me, cajoles me, speaks to my inner voice and conscience.

Also introduce staff attorneys — Michael Nava and Tami Fisher.

You know what we consider to be self evident in the law has changed over time, and the law has changed in response. Indeed, changes in how we as a state, and as a nation, view the nature of a family has prompted important changes in family law, much of that change coming from the courts.

A mere 62 years ago — now, I know 62 years seems like a very long time to many of you, but it no longer seems like such a long time to me and one or two others here tonight — but a mere 62 years ago, it was not self-evident that a white woman could marry an African-American man.

In 1948, our state law prohibited a white person from marrying a “Negro, mulatto, Mongolian or member of the Malay race.” A white woman named Andrea Perez and an African-American man named Sylvester Davis were denied a marriage license and claimed the law violated their right to religious freedom, because they were Roman Catholic and their church did not prohibit interracial marriage. A closely divided California Supreme Court, led by the great Justice Roger Traynor, struck down the law, holding that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution by “impairing the right of individuals to marry on the basis of race alone and by arbitrarily and unreasonably discriminating against certain racial groups.”[i] The decision in Perez v. Sharp recognized that discrimination could not be justified by the fact that it had “been sanctioned by the state for many years.”[ii]

It took almost 20 years before the U.S. Supreme Court came to the same conclusion at a time when 16 states still barred inter-racial marriage.
Prior to our Marriages Cases our court had a series of cases dealing with advances in reproductive technology and the rights of non-birth lesbian partners. In one of those cases, Elisa B., we stated that: “We see no reason why both parents of a child cannot be women.” In the In re Marriage Cases (2008),[iii] we recognized at the outset that same-sex couples enjoyed virtually all of the substantive legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, with one significant exception: their “officially recognized family relationship” was called a domestic partnership, rather than a marriage. Ultimately, as you well know, we held that not permitting same-sex couples to marry denies them equal protection of the law.

Several factors led us to this conclusion. First, denying same-sex couples the right to marry “clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits . . . enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples.” Second, such a denial “impose[s] appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children” because it robs them of the “dignity” and “stature . . . equal to that of opposite-sex couples.” Finally, we noted that denying same-sex couples this right perpetuates the “premise . . . that gay individuals and same-sex couples are . . . ‘second-class citizens’ who may, under the law, be treated . . . less favorably than . . . opposite-sex couples.”[iv]

The holding in The Marriage Cases that same-sex couples must be permitted to marry was short lived. Only 170 days later, on November 4, 2008, the voters passed Proposition 8, providing that: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Ironically, that same day, the voters also passed an initiative regulating the confinement of chickens in coops. As Chief Justice George noted, “Chickens gained valuable rights in California the same day that gay men and women lost them.”

As you know, the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of Prop. 8 despite a very persuasive concurring and dissenting opinion,[v] that I wrote. (I don’t think you’re honoring me for my opinions on arbitration and insurance coverage issues!) Well, at least I thought it was persuasive; unfortunately, none of my colleagues agreed. But the central issue in the Prop. 8 decision actually was not same-sex marriage (and its conclusion that gays and lesbians constituted a suspect class was not contravened by Prop. 8); it was the limits of the electorate’s ability to amend the California Constitution using the initiative process.

In my view, Proposition 8 was a “change to one of the core values upon which our state constitution is founded.”[vi] As I wrote in my dissent, “[e]ven a narrow and limited exception to the promise of full equality strikes at the core of, and thus fundamentally alters, the guarantee of equal treatment. . . . Promising equal treatment to some is fundamentally different from promising equal treatment to all.

Promising treatment that is almost equal is fundamentally different from ensuring truly equal treatment.

I relied on the fact that the equal protection clause of the California Constitution “is intended to operate independently of and in some cases more broadly than its federal counterpart”[vii] and concluded that the majority “essentially strip[ped] the state Constitution of its independent vitality in protecting the fundamental rights of suspect classes.” (Id.)

To me, Proposition 8 was thus a revision of — not an amendment to — the California Constitution. Such a fundamental change in the meaning of equal protection, to the promise of equality, and the protection of family rights and the right to privacy, can be accomplished, if at all, only by either a constitutional convention or a measure passed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature and approved by the voters — and not by a simple majority of the voters.

Thus, sixty years after Perez v. Sharp broadened the definition of the family to include marriage between people of different races, Proposition 8 narrowed that definition to exclude marriage between people of the same sex.

But neither the passage of Prop. 8, nor our court’s decision upholding that initiative measure, has put an end to the debate over same-sex marriage, just as it took a number of years, and perhaps decades, to reduce the debate and controversy over inter-racial marriage. A challenge to Prop. 8 based upon the federal Constitution is now pending in federal district court. The debate will continue, the nature of the family will continue to evolve, and the law will change in response, from the people, and from the Courts, and perhaps at some point, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judges and lawyers know that change in these matters does not come quickly, but it does come, step by step, measure by measure, and it doesn’t come easily, as we have seen. Things that seem self-evident now — like that interracial couples have the right to marry — were not always so. What will appear self-evident, and commonly accepted, throughout our state and nation, 20 years or more from now, only time will tell.

So I thank you, and I join all of you in the struggle for “Equal Justice under the law” as our Supreme Court proclaims — we, you, deserve nothing more and nothing less.