The San Jose City Council Tuesday voted to consider joining San Francisco in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that state ballot measure Proposition 8 banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, a spokeswoman said.
The council agreed to poll members at its Feb. 12 meeting on whether San Jose should lend its name to San Francisco's friend-of-the-court brief to be argued at a Supreme Court hearing in March, said Michelle McGurk, spokeswoman for Mayor Chuck Reed.
The plea came in a memorandum sent Friday to the council from members Ash Kalra, Xavier Campos, Kansen Chu and Don Rocha, who said that banning marriages by gay and lesbian couples violates their civil rights under the U.S. constitution.
"It goes without saying that these are landmark civil rights issues for both local and national concern," the members said.
"The City of San Jose must not be silent when it comes to these fundamental issues of equal rights," they said.
The members want the city to sign onto San Francisco's amicus brief arguing that the high court should strike down as unconstitutional California's Proposition 8 that prohibits same-sex marriages.
A majority of California voters passed Proposition 8 in 2008 and its ban on gay marriages became part of the state constitution.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in February 2012 that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has agreed to review that verdict in Washington, D.C. on March 26, Kalra said in a prepared statement.
San Francisco, a leader in the cause for marriage equality, will present its legal arguments against the proposition before the court that day, Kalra said.
The four members said that San Francisco has given the city a deadline of Feb. 14 to decide to sign the amicus brief, so the council must act by its Feb. 12 meeting.
Joining San Francisco's Supreme Court brief, which itself must be filed by Feb. 28, would save San Jose the expense of drawing up its own brief, they said.
The vote to consider linking the city to San Francisco's brief was 10-0 with council member Rose Herrera absent, McGurk said.