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No action today by the Supreme Court on Prop 8 brings a lot of head scratching

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To most Northern Californians, the torrential rain may have dampened interest in what is going on behind closed doors in Washington at the Supreme Court, but for hundreds of same-sex couples here in Sacramento, there is but one thing on their minds. Will they be planning a December wedding?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court justices were in conference to decide if they will take on the case of Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry).

When the clerk of the court handed out outcome of the conference today to the press, none of the marriage equality cases were on the list. In other words they did not make a decision ether way.

The next time we have a chance to find out anything is Monday morning, however today makes it less certain we might know anything definitive even then.

What may happen Monday is:
1) The Supreme Court will announce that the DOMA and Prop 8 cases will be placed on their next conference agenda, which happens Friday, December 7th.
2) It is possible, though not likely Monday we will find out they decided not to hear the Prop 8 case but will decide on the DOMA cases December 7, allowing California to move ahead with same-sex marriages.

What we were hoping to learn from today’s conference is one of four things might happen to Prop 8 here in California:
1) The court takes multiple DOMA cases and the Proposition 8 case. This will mean the earliest the Court will hear the case will be March and possibly June before we hear of the outcome.
2) The court takes one DOMA case, while holding the other DOMA cases pending that decision, and takes the Proposition 8 case as well. This still will delay marriages in California.
3) The court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases) and holds the rest of the cases, including Proposition 8, pending the outcome of the DOMA case. …still waiting!
4) Or, the court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases), but denies certiorari in the Proposition 8 case. This option, considered by most advocates to be a likely possibility, would lead to same-sex couples being able to marry in California within days. And would be the best outcome for those couples, their families, and California’s economy to boot.

One way or another, those couples, along with the rest of California and all the other states who would rather we take it to the Supreme Court, are itching for the court to make up their minds quickly. In any case we will find out what happens next, Monday, December 3, as early as 6:30AM (Pacific).

Here in Sacramento, myself, Ken Pierce of B.R.A.V.E. Society, a non-profit bullying awareness and victim advocacy organization is inviting the community to gather at Badlands (2003 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) at 6:00AM Monday morning to await the word of what the court plans to do. Many thanks to owner, T.J. Bruce and those of his staff who have volunteered to open early for our community to gather and find out together.

Plans, when we do find out if Prop 8 comes back to California or moves on to the Supreme Court, are sometime after the decision is made, no matter what that decision will be, the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center will host a Press Conference. Leaders of Equality Action NOW (EAN), a local civil rights group and Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA), a nation-wide organization is organizing this event. Speakers and the time of the Press Conference will be announced at the gathering at Badlands. .

Also on Monday or Friday, if the court turns down the hearing of Prop 8 leading the way for marriage equality here in California, MEUSA and EAN will host a celebratory rally at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, currently slated for 6:00pm.

For more information feel free to contact, Ken Pierce kpierce8272@yahoo.com, or Enrique Manjarrez Enrique@equalityactionnow.org.

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