Prop. 8 plaintiffs from Burbank 'hopeful' ahead of decision on gay marriage

Five words this morning from one of the Burbank residents whose fight to overturn Proposition 8 has taken him and his partner all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court:  “On way to SCOTUS. Hopeful.”

Those words, posted by Paul Katami on Twitter this morning, sum up much of what he and his longtime partner, Jeff Zarrillo, have said about their journey to the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue its ruling at 10 a.m. EST on gay marriage and California’s voter-approved Proposition 8.

The Burbank residents, together with a lesbian couple from Northern California, have been the lead plaintiffs against that measure, which defined marriage as being between a man and woman.

Over the last several days, Katami and Zarrillo have been anxiously awaiting the high court’s ruling, and on Tuesday, met with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).

Katami has been active on Twitter, responding to well-wishers and letting his sense of suspense come through. On Tuesday, when it was made clear the decision would be issued today, he tweeted: “Tomorrow is the day. Keeping the faith and feeling optimism about moving forward.”

The wait ends this morning on the last day of decisions issued by the court.

The Supreme Court could uphold or reject Proposition 8, dismiss the case as improvidently granted, return the case to an appeals court for reconsideration or rule that ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the marriage ban, did not have legal standing to bring the appeal, the L.A. Times reported.

The rulings today could also impact a Pasadena Army veteran and her civil rights lawsuit challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denied her wife, Maggie Cooper-Harris, eligibility for spousal support and death benefits.

Tracey Cooper-Harris, who served in the Middle East as an animal care specialist training military dogs for support in combat operations, said in an interview with the Pasadena Sun late last year that the twisting legal path had been “a little bit of a roller-coaster ride.”

Her lawsuit remains active in federal court, but could be impacted by a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of DOMA, her attorney has said.

Shortly after learning that the Supreme Court had agreed to take up the gay marriage matter, Zarillo, in a phone interview, said “this is what we’ve waited for.”

Shortly after 7 a.m. PST, he and Katami will find out whether they also get the outcome they’ve been waiting for.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Jessica Garrison, Maura Dolan and Christine Mai-Duc contributed reporting.

-- Jason Wells,

Follow on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells.


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