Professor Suzanne Goldberg

Proposition 8 should be struck down because it denies same-sex couples access to the “unique” value” of marriage and “denigrates” domestic partners by not allowing them to marry, Professor Suzanne Goldberg argues in a brief filed for the latest challenge to the California law.

The amicus brief, on behalf of four gay rights and civil rights groups, says the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by restricting same-sex couples to civil unions, which the brief says “replicates the functions—but not the social meaning—of marriage.”

“Proposition 8’s placement of different-sex couples on one side of the marriage line and same-sex couples on the other denies same-sex domestic partners the unique, particular value of marriage and denigrates their worth relative to different-sex married couples,” Goldberg writes.

Goldberg, who is director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic and the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, argues that when a state has sole control over giving out marriage licenses, it cannot limit access merely because tradition has dictated that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Proposition 8’s supporters “intended to exclude same-sex couples from marriage precisely to avoid the message of full and equal inclusion in society – the great promise of equal protection – that would flow from granting lesbian and gay couples non-discriminatory access to marriage,” Goldberg writes.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8 in August as unconstitutional. Supporters appealed Walker’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is slated to hear arguments Dec. 6. For now, same-sex couples cannot marry in California.

Goldberg, whose co-counsel on the case is California lawyer Susan Popik, of Chapman, Popik & White LLP, wrote the brief on behalf of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, the American Humanist Association, and Courage Campaign Institute.

To read the full brief, click here.


  1. Proposition 8 “Denigrates Same-Sex Couples,” Professor Suzanne Goldberg Argues in Brief Filed with the 9th Circuit http://wp.me/ploC4-Ks

  2. US: Proposition 8 “Denigrates Same-Sex Couples,” Professor Suzanne Goldberg Argues in Brief Filed with the 9th Circuit http://bit.ly/bFyTZC

  3. RT @danwibg Prop 8 “Denigrates Same-Sex Couples,” Prof Suzanne Goldberg Argues in Brief Filed with the 9th Circuit http://bit.ly/bFyTZC

  4. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks Also, please visit my site http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474980232135

  5. Nice read, I passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase which: Thanks for lunch!

  6. ! lol bring back a new bag until you buy the cleanerthis is lone 45 dollars it’s really i had in middle institution and classic coach bag They are

Add a comment

Comments are subject to moderation and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
Columbia Law School or Columbia University.



"Homeland" Security Abortion Rights Activism Adoption adultery Advocacy Affordable Care Act Alien Tort Claims Act Amicus Brief Asylum Bankruptcy BDS Bullying Census Politics Children Citizenship Civil Unions Clinic Columbia Law School Compulsory Marriage Condoms Contraception Contraception Mandate Cordoba House Criminal Law Cures for Homosexuality Defense of Marriage Act Disability Rights Discrimination Divorce Domestic Partnership Domestic Violence Domestic Workers Don't Ask Don't Tell Earth Day Economic Justice Education Egypt Elections Employment Discrimination ENDA Estate Planning Events Family Law Fellowships femininity Feminism Free Speech Gender and Technology Gender Identity Discrimination Gendering the Economy Gender Justice GSL Online Haiti Hate Crimes Health Care Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hiring HIV HIV Discrimination Hobby Lobby Homelessness Homophobia Housing Human Rights Identity Politics Illegitimacy (sic) Immigration Reform In-ing Incest India International Law Intersectional Feminism Islamophobia Israel Jobs Justice Sotomayor King & Spalding Labor Trafficking Land Reform Law School Legal Profession Legal Scholarship Lesbian & Gay Parenting LGBT Parenting Marital Status Discrimination Marriage Marriage Equality Masculinity Medicaid Michelle Obama Migration Military National Security Obama Administration Obama Appointments Obergefell Outing OWS Palestine Parenting Pinkwashing Policing Politics of the Veil Polyamory Popular Culture Pornograpy Pregnancy Presidential Politics Prisons Privacy Products Liability Profanity Prop 8 Prosecutorial Discretion Publications Public Rights/Private Conscience Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Queer Theory Queer vs. Gay Rights Race and Racism Racial Stereotyping Rape Religion Religious Accommodation Religious Exemption Religious Exemptions Religious Freedom Restoration Act Religious Fundamentalism Reproductive Rights Reproductive Technology RFRA Romania Rwanda Sartorial Commentary Schools Sex Discrimination Sex Education Sex Stereotyping Sexting Sex Trafficking Sexual Assault Sexual Duplicity Sexual Harassment Sexual Health Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Work Silencing of voices SMUG Sodomy Law Reform Solidarity Sports Supreme Court Surrogacy Technology Title IX Trafficking Transgender Uganda Uncategorized Violence Women and Poverty Women of Color Work Zimbabwe

Academic Calendar  |  Resources for Employers  |  Campus Map & Directory  |  Columbia University  |  Jobs at Columbia  |  Contact Us

© Copyright 2009, Columbia Law School. For questions or comments, please contact the webmaster.