Chris @ Law Dork has been following this developing story.
The news today has come from San Francisco that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has denied the request of several LGBT community groups in California — represented by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR — to intervene in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit challenging the constitutional validity of Proposition 8.
Judge Walker did, however, grant the request of the City of San Francisco to intervene. According to Lambda Legal’s Jason Howe, the judge “said they showed a government interest that wasn’t represented by any of the current parties.”
…The LGBT legal organizations, now, will be limited to filing amicus briefs, memoranda submitted to the court representing the views of non-parties who have an interest in the outcome of the case. At the trial court level, they will not have the ability to participate in depositions or request discovery. On appeal, they will have the option of requesting time at the oral argument, though, at this point, it is unclear how willing the plaintiffs will be to consent to any potential argument-sharing arrangement. In short, this has moved the LGBT legal organizations to the periphery of a very prominent and potentially landmark case.
The release from the LGBT groups is below the fold.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2009
Public Education Director
ACLU LGBT Project
Jason Pérez Howe
Senior Public Information Officer
Calla Devlin Rongerude
National Center for Lesbian Rights
SAN FRANCISCO — Today Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco denied the request of Our Family Coalition; Lavender Seniors of the East Bay; and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to join Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 8.
A statement by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
On behalf of our clients, we are disappointed that the court did not permit organizations that represent Californi
a’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to participate in the case as the Court weighs the harms inflicted by Proposition 8. The significance of this case for our entire community is enormous. To exclude the people whose very freedom is at stake is troubling.
Our commitment to restoring marriage for all Californians is unwavering, and we will continue to do everything within our power to secure full equality and justice for LGBT people.