The Beverly Hills Bar Association takes special pleasure in joining the cheers and applause for the US Supreme Court's two historic decisions in the DOMA case and the California Prop 8 case.
True to its mission, the BHBA took an active leadership role in advocating for this important issue, starting almost a decade ago, and most recently when it filed an amicus brief in the U.S Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v Perry (the Proposition 8 case), joined by many other legal organizations.
"The BHBA has long been and continues to be committed to supporting equality for and opposing discrimination against same sex couples and their right to marry," stated BHBA Past President John Rubiner.
Below is a brief chronology of BHBA actions in this area:
- 2004 - the Board of Governors established a Select Committee on Domestic Partnership and Same Sex Marriage to consider the issues and recommend what, if any, should be the position of BHBA.
- 2005 - following careful and full consideration, the Board of Governors adopted the majority report of the Select Committee and resolved to support the constitutional right of same sex couples to marry and to oppose laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting that right.
- 2006 - BHBA held a public program at the Museum of Tolerance entitled "Till Death Do Us Part: Marriage, Same Sex Couples and the Law."
- 2007 - as the In re Marriage Cases matter was pending before the California Supreme Court, BHBA prepared and filed the lead amicus brief, joined by numerous bar associations across the State including, among others, the Los Angeles County Bar Association. BHBA urged the California Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.
- 2008 - After Proposition 8 passed, BHBA filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court in Horton v Strauss, joined by many other legal organizations, challenging Proposition 8's constitutionality.
- 2009 - BHBA's Law and Justice Committee held a public forum, "The Prop 8 Debate," at Southwestern Law School featuring UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Chapman University Law School Dean John Eastman. Dean Eastman commented that it was the most intelligent and respectful discussion of the issue he had heard.
- 2010 - BHBA was a sponsor of the Same Sex Marriage Resolution in front of the ABA House of Delegates.
- February 2012 - BHBA filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court in Perry v Hollingsworth, joined by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Women Lawyers of Sacramento, and Monterey County Women Lawyers Association. BHBA urged the Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 in California, regardless whether the court reached the broader Equal Protection Clause question on a national level.
"This is more than a victory for same sex marriage, it is further advancement of our American ideals of liberty and justice for all," said BHBA CEO Marc Staenberg.