(Edited for space only. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)
California Psychological Association (CPA) Signs on as Amicus to American Psychological Association’s Brief to CA Supreme Court Re Gay Marriage.
As you know, the issue of Marriage Equality has been simmering below the radar for quite some time since Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, first recognized Marriage Equality for same-sex couples. Newsom gained international attention in February 2004, when he directed the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Newsom claimed the California Constitution’s equal protection clause as his authority. From February 12, 2004, until March 11, 2004, when Marriage Equality was halted by the California Supreme Court, about 4,000 couples were issued marriage licenses under Newsom’s directive in San Francisco. On August 12, 2004, the California Supreme Court voided all of 4,000 licenses.
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Since then, courts in Massachusetts and New Jersey have ruled that Marriage Equality must be recognized. The legislature of Massachusetts passed legislation for Marriage Equality. More recently, the courts in New Jersey have ruled that the State must accommodate Marriage Equality.
In California, the people, through their duly elected officials in both legislative chambers have attempted to recognize Marriage Equality in 2005 and once again in 2007. Both times, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Marriage Equality Terminator, vetoed the legislation. He has indicated that the issue should be a matter for the courts and the voters of California to decide. Schwarzenegger has obviously ignored the fact that the voters of California have spoken in 2005 and again in 2007 in favor of Marriage Equality through their legislators. It so happens that the California Supreme Court may make a decision on Marriage Equality. The Court will hear oral argumentss in a case for Marriage Equality in which fifteen (15) same-sex couples will be represented by the the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal.
Now, Miguel E. Gallardo, PsyD, President, wrote the following to the members of the CPA:
“I hope this message finds you all well and in good health. I am writing to inform you that, as an association, the CPA signed on to an Amicus Brief recently filed by the American Psychological Association with the California Supreme Court. Additionally, this email is intended to provide you with some background information and inform you of the process used by the Executive Committee (comprised of the CPA’s elected officers) and the Board of Directors in determining the appropriate action for CPA.
“In July 2007 the Public Interest Directorate of APA requested that CPA sign on to an Amicus Brief that the APA planned to file with the California Supreme Court. An Amicus Curiae Brief (literally, “friend of the court”) is a brief that is filed with the court by someone who is not a party to the case, but who has an interest in the case and believes that the court’s decision may affect its interest. Amicus Briefs often include educative information and resources that may be useful to the Court.
Re full disclosure, BlueBeaumontBoyz is a member of the American Psychological Association.
Gallardo’s message continues:
“The current case stems from the original action of the San Francisco Mayor to allow marriage between gay and lesbian couples. This case comes to the California Supreme Court from the California First Appellate District Court (Division Three), which reversed an earlier trial court decision, and upheld the constitutional California’s Family Code, that defines civil marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The California Supreme Court must decide whether to uphold the Appellate Court decision or to overturn it and find the current definition of marriage unconstitutional (as did the earlier trial court). A decision to overturn the Appellate Court’s decision would, in essence, enable gay and lesbian couples to be married in the state of California.
“APA has filed similar Briefs in other states, including in Maryland where the Supreme Court recently rejected the Brief, but APA believes that the California case is probably the most important case to date on this matter and that this case will have a very large impact on the rest of the country. In addition to CPA, APA was joined in this Brief by the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers.
“The Decision Making Process
“The Executive Committee of the CPA Board of Directors based its actions on our newly adopted guidelines from the Social Issues Task Force which stipulate that the Executive Committee, after considering any issue, will determine how to involve the full Board of Directors. In this particular circumstance, the Executive Committee involved the CPA Board of Directors as early as was feasible in the review process. The Executive Committee ultimately reviewed all the relevant documents provided by APA, as well as other materials provided by various Board members and other interested individuals in this case. The final meeting of Executive Committee occurred on September 10th when a final decision was made to support the Brief. It was during this meeting, and several others, that the members of the Executive Committee reviewed the comments gathered from the Board of Directors comments, concerns, and suggested actions to change the language in the Brief. Based on the final meeting on the 10th, and the Executive Committee’s review of the comments from the Board of Directors, and by a majority vote, the CPA Executive Committee agreed that CPA join the Brief as an Amicus.
“In essence, we followed what we believed to be the appropriate mechanisms to make an informed decision on behalf of the CPA and its members.
“This decision was forwarded to Dr. Clinton Anderson in the APA Public Interest Directorate. Dr. Anderson and other members of the APA expressed their appreciation for CPA’s position on this issue. A copy of the Amicus Brief that was filed with the California Supreme Court is attached for your information and review.
“We hope you find the information contained in this email and in the attached document helpful in understanding the significance in maintaining a level of integrity in our decision making process, as well as, ultimately deciding what final action to take on behalf of the Association, its members, and the communities in California that we serve.
“I appreciate your membership in the Association and I look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.
Miguel E. Gallardo, PsyD
The full brief may be viewed at [http://www.cpapsych….]