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Olson-Boies Case: Judge Weighs in for Speedy Trial

U..S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker indicated that he was not inclined to put a halt to Proposition 8 but instead said that the case should proceed promptly to trial.

His statements came in a filing that sets up many of the issues to be brought up in the case, a federal suit filed by David Boies and Ted Olson that challenges Prop 8 as a violation of constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. The first hearing on the case is scheduled for Thursday in San Francisco.

Their suit, filed on behalf of two same-sex couples who attempted to marry in California but were denied licenses, included a request for a preliminary injuction to put an immediate halt to Proposition. But Walker suggested that doing so would create a level of uncertainty for couples who then tie the knot because there still would be no final judgment at the federal level..

Walker said that “serious questions” are raised in the suit, and that the court would consider a wide range of factors in the case, including the motivations of voters in supporting Prop 8 and the advertising and literature used in the campaign. He also suggested that the court would consider everything from the differences between domestic partnerships, civil unions and marriage; history of past discrimination; same-sex parenting; and whether gay marriage had a detrimental impact on heterosexual couples.

“The just, speedy and inexpensive determination of these issues would appear to call for proceeding promptly to trial,” he wrote.

The lawsuit is backed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, led by Chad Griffin and with a board made up of entertainment industry activists.

Although plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction, Olson said in a statement that they are “encouraged that the judge wants to dispense with the preliminaries and move quickly toward a final ruling on the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8.”

————————– Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

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