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Federal Suit Challenging Prop. 8 Begins Monday

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A federal lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a ban on marriage for same-sex couples will begin Monday in what is a landmark case for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, The Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker will preside over the case filed by Kristin Perry and her partner of 10 years, Sandra Stier, after their marriage was revoked by the state. Perry and Stier were one of approximately 4,000 California couples who exchanged nuptials in San Francisco in 2004 when Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Those licenses were later invalidated.

Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo are joint plaintiffs in the case.

Star attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies will argue that California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, known as Proposition 8, does not serve a legitimate public purpose and was prompted by legally inadmissible religious beliefs. Olson and Boies are best known for their head-to-head match in the “hanging chad” debacle during the 2000 presidential election.

“Proposition 8 violates the federal guarantees of equal protection and due process,” the Olson-Boies brief states. “Proposition 8 denies same-sex couples the right to marry in a unique historical context in which the denial can only be deemed a declaration of inequality.”

The case will be recorded and broadcast online via YouTube with a delay.

The plaintiffs, Perry, Stier, Katami & Zarrillo released the following statement about the case:

We and our relationships should be treated equally under the law. Our goal is to advance the cause of equality for all Americans, which is the promise that makes this nation so great.

GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of this landmark case. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org

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