Christian Coalition Seeks to Intervention to Defend Georgia's Marriage Amendment

Christian Coalition of Georgia, represented by Liberty Counsel, asked the Superior Court of Fulton County on Thursday permission to intervene in a case to defend the recently passed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

On November 2, seventy-seven percent of Georgia voters approved amending the State Constitution with a traditional definition of marriage. Ten other states also passed constitutional marriage amendments.

But a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia contends that the amendment violated the "single subject rule” by including language that could be interpreted as bans for both same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions.

The group joined by Lambda Legal had attempted to bar the ballot vote on Georgia’s marriage amendment or Amendment One. On Oct. 26, Georgia Supreme Court allowed the vote to proceed.

The language of Georgia’s approved marriage amendment reads: "No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction."

In its brief submitted to the court, ACLU attorneys argued that the text presented before voters was misleading by only mentioning the first part of the amendment and not its subsection listing the amendment’s impact.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, disagrees, saying “the people of Georgia spoke loud and clear” on the ballot.

“When groups pushing the homosexual agenda fail to win at the ballot box they try to undermine democracy by using the courts to eliminate the voice of the people,” Staver added. “Aggressive use of the courts to undermine marriage has backfired on the same-sex marriage movement. These recent efforts to challenge constitutional amendments will also backfire. The people of America are not about to idly stand by and watch marriage go up in smoke."

Liberty Counsel filed a motion on Thursday asking the court to grant party status to the Coalition so it could actively develop and implement litigation strategy to defend the Georgia Constitutional Amendment at every stage of litigation.