American Foundation for Equal Rights

AFER Issues Statement Regarding Scope of U.S. Government’s Brief in Support of Plaintiffs in Proposition 8 Case


Washington, DC – Yesterday, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., filed a brief on behalf of the United States Government as amicus curiae in support of the Plaintiffs challenging California’s Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry.  The Government’s brief urges the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry, hosted a conference call yesterday with Plaintiffs’ counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where Mr. Boutrous addressed questions regarding the scope of the U.S. Government’s amicus brief in the Prop. 8 case.  To listen to audio playback of the conference call, dial:

Dial-in: 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406
Conference ID: 18256697

Today, Mr. Boutrous issued the following statement:

“The Solicitor General’s brief is an unprecedented call to action that it is time to recognize gay and lesbian Americans as full and equal citizens under the law.  We are thrilled to have the full voice and authority of the U.S. Government behind the movement toward marriage equality.

“As noted by the President this morning when asked about the scope of the Government’s amicus brief: ‘The solicitor general, in his institutional role going before the Supreme Court, is obliged to answer the specific question before them. And the specific question presented before the court right now is whether Prop 8 and the California law is unconstitutional.’

“To that end, in its brief, the Government argues that California’s Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, and should be subject to heightened judicial scrutiny because it discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. If the Court agrees with the United States that heightened scrutiny applies, that is a clear path to equality in all states across the country, not just in the eight states that recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions, because marriage bans in other states cannot satisfy that standard either.

“We look forward to having the Federal Government by our side as we make the case for full federal marriage equality before the Supreme Court.”




About the American Foundation for Equal Rights

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  After bringing together bipartisan attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case is currently before the United States Supreme Court.  The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality.