Judge Loretta Giorgi of San Francisco Superior Court held a hearing on Thursday, July 28, 2011, on whether the San Francisco ballot initiative will be voted on this November. There was a spirited rally by Bay Area intactivists outside the courthouse, carrying signs and talking to passersby. I participated for a while, then went inside the courthouse for the hearing. So many media people and activists were present that extra chairs had to be brought in and eventually no more visitors were admitted. Media that were definitely there include ABC, CNN, NPR, and the Bay Area Reporter, but there were a number of others. Lloyd Schofield as the “real party in interest” in this case gave a number of excellent interviews and several others including Richard Kurylo, Jonathan Conte, and me were interviewed by television and radio reporters.

Attorney Michael Kinane did a great job representing our case. The judge made a number of factual errors and did not seem very familiar with the case. Eventually she decided against us, based on the claim that the ballot proposition was pre-empted by state law, i.e., that state law regulating medical procedures trumps any attempt by local law to override it. She also went on to state that the ballot initiative also conflicts with the constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion.

We plan to offer an in-depth consideration of the ballot initiative and the ensuing litigation in the next issue of the ARC Newsletter, due out in September.

Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child