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Prop 8 Opposition Lawyer: 'We've Been Planning to be in the U.S. Supreme Court'

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At a press conference this morning held in downtown Los Angeles by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, one of the lawyers who argued against Proposition 8 spoke about the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, along with plaintiffs and their families and representatives from AFER.

Chad Griffin, AFER president, told the room full of reporters that the court's ruling "affirmed a simple American truth, that how we are born and who we choose to love should not be a basis for discrimination in this country."

Lawyer Ted Olson said that the court's decision will be stayed for 14 days, during which time Prop 8 proponents can ask for a rehearing from the entire 9th Circuit (this decision was made by a three-judge panel). After that 14-day period, Olson said that he expected those in favor of banning gay marriage to keep pushing for a stay, but that he and his team would push back for the stay to be lifted.

"The time is now" for same-sex couples to be granted the right to marry, he said.

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Olson also said the majority opinion in today's Prop 8 decision, which was 80 pages long, adhered very closely to existing precedent regarding marriage. That might make it difficult, he noted, for the Supreme Court to hear the case.

"The 9th circuit crafted the opinion...very carefully," he said. "It's unassailable and it follows what the Supreme Court" has said in similar cases.

That said, he added, he will be ready if and when the Prop 8 case makes it to the Supreme Court.

"From the very beginning, we've been planning to be in the U.S. Supreme Court."

Sandy Stier, who along with her partner Kris Perry was one of the plaintiffs in the case, said that today's decision is an affirmation of some basic principles to which she's adhered since childhood.

"Growing up in Iowa, I was taught you live by the golden rule, you work hard and you are treated fairly by the government," she said. "Today's ruling makes this possible."