Friday, August 17, 2007

California Supreme Court Considers Conflict Over State Defense Of Marriage Act

Today Liberty Counsel filed briefs at the California Supreme Court in the ongoing battle to protect marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF). Opposing parties include San Francisco and several pro-homosexual groups. The California Supreme Court is expected to hold oral argument in this case early next year and could ultimately decide whether or not same-sex couples have the right to enter into same-sex "marriages."

The constitutionality of California's marriage laws was challenged more than three years ago. In February 2004 Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of CCF and its executive director, Randy Thomasson, to stop San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court ruled that the mayor did not have authority to issue the licenses based upon his personal belief that the marriage laws were unconstitutional. Meanwhile, several same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco filed four separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the marriage laws. Those four lawsuits and Liberty Counsel's original action were consolidated and have gone through several court hearings and appeals, until finally reaching the California Supreme Court.

In this case, Liberty Counsel argues that the rights of married couples cannot be given to same-sex couples unless the California constitution is amended. California's Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2000, means that same-sex "marriages" are not legally recognized in California, whether performed in state or out of state. Any other interpretation of the Act would violate both the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution.

Marriage is a universally recognized social institution, and not even the legislature can change the meaning of the relationship. Allowing same-sex couples to claim marital rights will destroy the unique institution that forms the bedrock of every civilized society.

Read the briefs in PDF format:

Supplemental Brief

Reply Brief