Posts Tagged ‘san’

Mayor Ralph Becker Signs Anti-Discrimination Laws

San Francisco signed Fair Workplace and Housing laws into effect with Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone in 1979, now 30 years later Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker signs his name to the list of champions of human rights.

This afternoon, before a crowd of 50-100 people, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker follow the recommendation of the Salt Lake Human Rights Commission and signed into law the recently approved Fair Workplace and Housing ordinances with cheers from onlookers. Earlier this year, the Human Rights Commission, led by Jon Jepsen delivered a report to the Mayor and the City Council detailing discriminations that are being visited on a large number of Salt Lake City residents. According to the report, members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in Salt Lake are being unfairly treated, as under current laws in Salt Lake it is legal to fire, refuse to employ, evict and refuse housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Salt Lake is behind the majority of this country” when it comes to these rights said Jepsen, and something needs to be done about it. The Mayor went further and said he hoped these rights would spread “throughout the rest of the state.”

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Prop 8 Arguments Conclude, Speculation Explodes

As the oral arguments on Prop 8 concluded in San Francisco today, viewers are semi-optimistic.

“It seemed as though there was quite a bit of focus placed on the existing marriages that took place over the summer, but not nearly enough attention placed on the Proposition itself” said Thomas Skeeler, a local Californian activist and Anti-Prop 8-er. Julianne Minners of Murray Utah is extremely upset about how the day went. “All they did was talk about the legality of [Prop 8],” Julianne says, ” why weren’t they talking about what God wants, and how disgusting it is that those [gay marriages] ever even existed?”

The more rational and common sensed arguments seemed to be summed up by a local pro-civil rights attorney who asked to be kept anonymous. “Realistically,” he said, “with the way the arguments were framed today, the existing 18,000 or so marriages will likely remain valid, but Prop 8 itself will probably stand.”

As for myself, I’m enormously excited for the day when the country begins to realize that letting the majority vote on the minorities rights is ultimately un-constitutional, and in no way keeps with the morals of our great nation. We built our nation on the foundation of upholding the individuals rights, and destroying the oppression of the weak.

As for California, Prop 8 may stand for today. But to all those who voted “yes,” thank you. Thank you for bringing us together once more, and swapping a short term victory for an enormous new national push for civil rights, that has no possible outcome other than full equality for all, not just some.

COURT DATE FOR PROP 8 IS SET

BY REED COWEN

BREAKING NEWS! California Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Prop 8 Legal Challenge on March 5 The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in the Proposition 8 legal challenge. On November 19, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and set an expedited schedule. Briefing in the case was completed on January 21, 2009. The California Supreme Court must issue its decisions within 90 days of oral argument. On January 15, 2009, 43 friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Court to invalidate Prop 8 were filed, arguing that Proposition 8 drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California’s Constitution and that the rights of a minority cannot be eliminated by a simple majority vote. The supporters represent the full gamut of California’s and the nation’s civil rights organizations and legal scholars, as well as California legislators, local governments, bar associations, business interests, labor unions, and religious groups. In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that laws that treat people differently based on their sexual orientation violate the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and that same-sex couples have the same fundamental right to marry as other Californians. Proposition 8 eliminated this fundamental right only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group. Proposition 8 passed by a bare majority of 52 percent on November 4. The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU filed this challenge on November 5, representing Equality California, whose members include many same-sex couples who married between June 16 and November 4, 2008, and six same-sex couples who want to marry in California. The California Supreme Court has also agreed to hear two other challenges filed on the same day: one filed by the City and County of San Francisco (joined by Santa Clara County and the City of Los Angeles, and subsequently by Los Angeles County and other local governments); and another filed by a private attorney. Serving as co-counsel on the case with NCLR, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU are the Law Office of David C. Codell, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The case is Strauss et al. v. Horton et al. (#S168047).