Watch: Olson, Boies and the Prop. 8 Plaintiffs hold post-argument Press Conference

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Following this morning’s historic oral arguments, attorney’s for plaintiffs Sandy Stier, Kris Perry, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami held at a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court:

Meg Whitman, other GOP officials: Overturn Prop 8!

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Hewlett-Packard CEO and former California gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, has joined 74 other top ranking republicans in asking the Supreme Court to overturn California’s discriminatory proposition 8.

According to the New York Times,”Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.”

The brief, which is expected to be filed with the court this week includes other GOP names,”Among…Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.”

Whitman signing on to the brief is  especially stunning considering the former ebay chief supported the proposition during her bid for governor.

“Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, who favored civil unions but opposed same-sex marriage during his 2012 presidential bid, also signed. Last week, Mr. Huntsman announced his new position in an article titled “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause,” a sign that the 2016 Republican presidential candidates could be divided on the issue for the first time,” the Times reports.

Ken Mehlman, the former GOP chairman who was forced out of the closet by blogger Michael Rogers after supporting several anti-equality issues, tells the paper,”We are trying to say to the court that we are judicial and political conservatives, and it is consistent with our values and philosophy for you to overturn Proposition 8.”

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on March 26th. The justices are also scheduled to hear arguments in a case challenging the so-called “defense of marriage act” the following day.

LGBT groups across the country are planning marches, or similar actions, during the pivotal week to show their support. (Click HERE to learn more.)

Making our case: Prop 8 Opponents file Supreme Court Brief

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Same -sex marriage champions Ted Olson and David Boies, the attorneys representing the American Foundation for Equal Rights, filed their brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

According to a statement from AFER,”This is our one and only brief that we will file with the Court. It is our chance to explain to the Justices that marriage equality is at the heart of our generation’s search for greater freedom and a basic American value, deeply rooted in our constitutional tradition.”

Included in the 54-page document is a powerful statement regarding the discrimination of the proposition, which passed in California in 2008, thanks to millions of dollars spent by anti-equality organizations and networks, “Because of their sexual orientation—a characteristic with which they were born and which they cannot change—Plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians in California and across the country are being excluded from one of life’s most precious relationships. They may not marry the person they love, the person with whom they wish to partner in building a family and with whom they wish to share their future and their most intimate and private dreams. Although opening to them participation in the unique and immensely valuable institution of marriage will not diminish the value or status of marriage for heterosexuals, withholding it causes infinite and permanent stigma, pain, and isolation. It denies gay men and lesbians their identity and their dignity; it labels their families as second-rate. That outcome cannot be squared with the principle of equality and the unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is the bedrock promise of America from the Declaration of Independence to the Fourteenth Amendment, and the dream of all Americans.”

Olson and Boies will argue the case on March 26th. The justices are also scheduled to hear arguments in a case challenging the so-called “defense of marriage act” the following day.

According to the LA Times,”Next week, the Obama administration must decide whether to take part in the California case by filing a “friend of the court” brief.

“The solicitor general is still looking into this,” President Obama said Wednesday in an interview with a San Francisco TV station. “I can tell you, though, obviously my personal view, which is that same-sex couples should have the same rights and be treated like everybody else.”

LGBT groups across the country are planning marches, or similar actions, during the pivotal week to show their support. (Click HERE to learn more.)

Click HERE to read the FULL Brief.

Update: Celebration Planned To Remember Life of Mr. Boise Pride 2011

 The Lucky Dog Tavern in Boise will be holding a special celebration to remember the life of 24-year-old Cory Wood aka CW Blaque, this Wednesday night, March 28th.

The event is also a fundraiser to help Wood’s family with funeral expenses.

Wood, who was killed last week in a traffic accident near Camptonville, California, was well-known throughout Boise’s LGBT community.

He took on the title of Mr. Boise Pride 2011 last June.

If you would like to make a contribution, or if you can bring an hors d’oeuvre to Wednesday’s event, you can contact  Selena Blaque on facebook or by calling 208-515-1214.

According to a facebook announcement, the celebration is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm. The Lucky Dog Tavern is located at 2223 W Fairview Avenue in Boise.

There will be a viewing this Saturday, March 31st, from 6-8 pm. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, April 1st,  from 3-5 pm. Both events will be held at Zeyer Funeral Chapel, 83 N Midland Blvd in Nampa.

In addition, Stone Mountain Music DJ Andrew Laughlin is putting together a DVD for the funeral and is asking  the community to email him any photos of Wood they might have. You can email them to laughlinandrewjm@gmail.com.

Community Mourns Passing of Mr. Boise Pride 2011

The Treasure Valley LGBT community is expressing its sorrow at the loss of 24-year old Cory Wood aka Cw Blaque.

According to press reports, Wood was killed on Wednesday night after a traffic accident near Camptonville, California.  KNCO radio reports that 25-year-old Calliann Murch, of Meridian, was driving a 2001 Ford Focus south on Highway 49 when she lost control of the vehicle on a curve at around 6:15 that night.

The Appeal Democrat reports that,”Evidence then suggests she steered to the right, then overcorrected back to the left and then slid into the path of a 1993 Toyota pickup being driven north by David Pratschner, 47, of Camptonville.”

Both Murch and Wood died at the scene.

Pratschner and his passenger, a 14-year-old female, suffered minor injuries.

Wood was well-known throughout the Boise LGBT community for his dedication and giving spirit.

On a facebook announcement, Boise Pride Inc writes,”Mr. Boise Pride 2011-Cw Blaque. You stepped up to help the local LGBT community as Mr. Boise Pride 2011 June 6th of last year. Even though Boise Pride will miss the opportunity to tell you “job well done Cw” your selfless acts of kindness, being a positive example of equality and acceptance for everyone, and a willingness to give without bounds; will continue your memory on in the LGBT community you represented/served as Mr. Boise Pride 2011.”

Wood, who was born in Caldwell and lived in Nampa, was also known for his work with Treasure Valley’s drag community.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Click HERE to watch a touching video tribute put together by Stone Mountain Music DJ Andrew Laughlin.

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