Three Pro-Gay Groups Respond To AFER’s Letter

Jim Burroway

July 10th, 2009

Chris Geidner has gotten some reactions from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU concerning the letter from the America Foundation for Equal Rights (the group behind the Olson and Boies lawsuit challenging Prop 8) sent to those groups demanding that they not seek to intervene in the suit:

Looking at [AFER board president Chad] Griffin\’s letter, it is clear that — far from being blindsided by the Perry lawsuit — the LGBT legal organizations were well aware of and chose not to participate in the filing of this lawsuit. It is also clear, though, that the groups have been working with the lawyers for the case since its filing to discuss strategy and a way to “integrate” the groups more fully in the case.

When contacted Thursday, James Esseks, the co-director of the ACLU\’s LGBT Rights Project, said of the distinction between the groups\’ initial response and their filing on Wednesday, “People can disagree about when and whether to jump into the pool, but once you do it makes sense to swim as hard as possible to get to the other side. . . . We\’re all in the pool; it\’s not just those plaintiffs.”

..Toward the beginning of Griffin\’s letter, he stated of the groups that “it is inconceivable that you would zealously and effectively litigate this case if you were successful in intervening.” Esseks, of the ACLU LGBT Rights Project took strong objection to that, saying, “Any suggestion that [the groups] would want to lose a marriage case is off-the-wall to me. It\’s unfathomable.” Likewise, Shannon Minter, the legal director at NCLR responded in a statement that “Our only focus right now is on doing everything we can to help win the case.”

I don’t think the letter from AFER suggests that any of the groups would actually want to lose the case. What it does suggest is that a group that doesn’t believe that a case should have been filed may not be as effective as those who do.

Chris argues that the groups are right to try to intervene in order to broaden the factual record for the inevitable appeals to the appelate court.


July 10th, 2009

Of course they don’t want to lose a marriage case. But that doesn’t mean they won’t get in the way and hamper something that is already working fine. I think AFER would be wise to consult the other groups for ideas and thoughts but too many chiefs and the tribe falls into chaos!


July 10th, 2009

I am so happy these legal groups are getting involved. This case is SO risky on so many levels and could set back the gay rights movement for years if there’s a really bad US Supreme Court decision. I am not worried at all about too many chiefs. In fact, I wish that the gay legal groups were in charge of everything and just let Boies and Olson in at oral argument time to be the “face men.” That’s what they do their other cases anyway, right?


July 10th, 2009

These three groups have tried for YEARS in California to get gay marriage passed AND HAVE FAILED MISERABLY AT EVERY ATTEMPT!

They need to back off, allow a changing of the guard on gay rights and pass the torch.

All 3 groups just need to STFU and let the REAL experience get the job done.

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