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With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Asia, a conservative law professor is trying to cajole acting Gov. Abel Maldonado to appeal to defend California's same-sex marriage ban in court.

John Eastman, who lost a bid in June to become the Republican nominee for attorney general, is calling on Proposition 8 supporters to "help Abel Maldonado do the right thing. Call him TODAY to say you support him filing the Notice of Appeal. . . . Call Now. Call Every Hour."

Eastman, on his website today and in emails, is supplying office phone numbers and cell phone numbers for Maldonado, who is lieutenant governor but filling in for Schwarzenegger while the governor travels. Eastman urges Proposition 8 supporters to bombard Maldonado and his staff with calls pushing him to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before today's deadline.

Republican Schwarzenegger declined to defend Proposition 8 on appeal after federal Judge Vaughn Walker found that the measure violated the federal constitutional rights of gays. In fact, Schwarzenegger filed a motion in court saying he thought gay marriages should proceed.

Maldonado spokeswoman Erin Shaw responded to an inquiry into whether he was inclined to take up the invitation to defy the wishes of the governor, who appointed Maldonado lieutenant governor.

Shaw said Maldonado was concerned today with only two tasks. One, she said, was signing a bill reimbursing some tax money to residents of the city of Bell, where the city manager and others were paying themselves huge salaries. The other, Shaw said, was making sure that the needs of San Bruno gas explosion victims were met.

"He is only focused on those two issues at hand," she said. She said Eastman's crusade to get Proposition 8 supporters to contact Maldonado's office had resulted in a "fair amount" of calls.

Eastman, a former dean of the Chapman University School of Law, has frequently appeared in media defending the measure and challenging Walker's ruling.

Fellow Republican Maldonado, Eastman observes on his website, is going to be running in November against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who Eastman calls "poster child for homosexual marriage."

"It is not as though Maldonado is going to be able to avoid the issue," Eastman says.

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. with commments from Maldonado spokeswoman Shaw.



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