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Assembly Speaker John Perez files brief seeking to overturn Prop. 8

February 28, 2013|By Chris Megerian
  • Speaker John A. Perez discusses his legal filing in the Proposition 8 case.
Speaker John A. Perez discusses his legal filing in the Proposition 8 case. (Chris Megerian / Los Angeles…)

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez joined the legal fight against California’s same-sex marriage ban on Thursday, partnering with several law professors on his own pitch for overturning Proposition 8.

The court filing, known as an amicus brief, says Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it prevents gay Californians from seeking equal rights from their elected representatives in the state Legislature.  

“If a voter initiative can deny gay people access to traditional representative, democratic processes, then in California, any other small, historically disadvantaged minority group can also be denied the right of representative,” said Pérez, who is the state’s first openly gay speaker.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear the case next month.

Laura Brill, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked on the lawsuit, said the court has a track record of striking down state initiatives that make it harder for minorities to seek equal rights.

“There are limits on what kind of political hurdles you can place in the state constitution,” she said.

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