Internecine Battle Erupts Between Prop 8 Supporters

Turns out that the only thing various factions of California’s pro-Proposition 8 squad have in common is that they want to keep GLBT citizens unequal under law. 

From the SF Chronicle: Prop 8 backers splinter as court fight resumes

The group that persuaded California voters this month to pass Proposition 8, which [took away citizens’ right to] same-sex marriage, now is fighting its friends as well as its foes.

Other conservative groups that loudly backed Prop. 8 are being targeted as too extreme and off-putting by ProtectMarriage.com, which put the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot and hopes to help persuade the state Supreme Court to uphold the measure.

“We represent the people who got things done, who got Prop. 8 passed,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. “An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.”

Pugno, for example, persuaded the Supreme Court last week to bar the Campaign for California Families from intervening in the court case over the validity of Prop. 8 and the same-sex marriage ban.

“That organization represents the extreme fringe and is not representative of the coalition that got it passed,” Pugno said. “They didn’t even support Prop. 8 until sometime in the summer.”

People associated with the group didn’t expect the Prop. 8 campaign’s efforts to push them to the sidelines.

“I’m surprised, because we’ve litigated beside each other for 4 1/2 years” in the unsuccessful effort to keep the Supreme Court from overturning Prop. 22 same-sex marriage ban in 2000, said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which represents the Campaign for California Families [CCF is now called Campaign for Children and Families]. “We have the same goal, which is to defend Prop. 8.”

…  [D]isputes between the groups have grown in the past few days, with [CCF leader Randy] Thomasson launching an all-out attack against the Supreme Court for accepting the challenge to Prop. 8, a court decision Pugno and others from ProtectMarriage.com had welcomed.

“If the court disobeys the constitution by voiding Prop. 8, it will ignite a voter revolt,” Thomasson said in statement released after the court agreed Wednesday to hear arguments over the validity of the constitutional amendment. [Pro-equality voices plan to argue that the amendment is actually a revision and that a simple majority of the electorate is not enough to take away citizens’ heretofore constitutionally acknowledged rights.] “The court is playing with fire by threatening to destroy the people’s vote on marriage.”

Pugno and others from the Prop. 8 campaign want to avoid such fiery challenges and threats to the court and keep matters on a quiet legal level until the court rules on same-sex marriage sometime after March.

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