In the final written arguments submitted to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, supporters of Proposition 8 don't just want the constitutional denial of marriage equality to stand, but also want the judge to take away benefits from the couples.
Specifically, they are talking about the 18,000 same-sex couples who are legally married in California, having tied the not between the state court ruling and the 2008 ballot measure's passage.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Prop 8 defense attorney Andrew Pugno said that they don't want the marriages nullified, just so everyone can be free to discriminate against them but refusing to recognize a same-sex couple's status as legally married.
That freedom to deny equal marriage benefits -- including hospital visitation rights, joint tax filing, child custody rights and inheritance of community property -- would be extended to public agencies, courts and private business, if the judge rules in the defense's favor.
That there now exists three classes of people in regard to marriage rights in the state -- opposite sex couples who are free to wed, same-sex couples that are already wed, and same-sex couples that will never be allowed to marry -- has been one of the points that Prop 8 opponents and plaintiff's counsel in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger have used to challenge the change to the state's constitution.
Jackson West couldn't be more appalled at the nerve of these people. The nerve!