American Foundation for Equal Rights


For Immediate Release / September 21, 2010

Contact: Yusef Robb /, 323-384-1789

Statement from Chad Griffin, Who Spearheaded Groundbreaking Prop. 8/Perry Case

“Our Constitution requires that every American is treated equally under the law and by our government. It is shameful that Congress did not act accordingly. Still, given the attention paid to this debate, as well as the recent federal court decisions regarding Prop. 8 and DOMA, I am hopeful that we are growing closer to meeting the promise of equality upon which our nation was founded,” said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case. After bringing together Theodore Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, the Foundation successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and is now leading it through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before the case is brought to the United States Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs in the case are two couples — Kris Perry & Sandy Stier and Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo — who wish to marry but cannot because of Proposition 8.

Kris and Sandy have been together for more than ten years and their family includes four boys. Both are in public service — Kris leads a childhood health and education agency and Sandy works for a county health department. Their home life centers around their kids, with PTA meetings, soccer and music lessons taking up much of their free time.

Paul and Jeff have been together for nine years. Jeff is a general manager for a movie theater company and Paul is a business owner. They own a home together and are proud uncles.

Leading civil rights organizations, legal scholars, doctors, scientists, and religious organizations filed amicus briefs in support of the the Foundation’s case, including: the California NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), Asian Law Caucus, National Black Justice Coalition, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, ACLU, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Center for Lesbian Rights, retired California Court of Appeal Justice Donald King, family law professors from across the state, American Anthropological Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights Advisory Board is co-chaired by John Podesta, head of the progressive Center for American Progress, and Robert Levy, head of the libertarian Cato Institute. The Board also includes former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, UFW founder Dolores Huerta and FOX News Commentator Margaret Hoover.

For complete information about the case, including court documents, photographs, video and more, visit .

Specifically, the District Court’s comprehensive, 136-page decision may be found here:

A summary of the trial is available here:

Video evidence and other court filings are available here:

“More than 30 years ago, the United States Supreme Court recognized that marriage is one of the basic rights of man,” the original suit against Prop. 8 stated, referring to the Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down bans on interracial marriage.