The federal court of appeal rejected the last effort to block gay marriage before May 17 when such unions become legal in the state on Friday, May 14, 2004. Nevertheless, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First District granted an appeals hearing for next month, at which conservative and pro-family groups will continue to fight to protect traditional marriage in the state.
The Florida-based Liberty Counsel, the non- profit education and legal defense organization established to preserve religious, had filed the request for injunctive relief on behalf of 11 legislators and a Boston resident. The denial of the court followed a previous effort by the Liberty Counsel to protect marriage, which was also turned down on Thursday.
Matthew Staver, President and General Counsel for the Liberty Counsel said that they have already asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, and that there were several expedited briefing schedules due this month as well as the next. The briefs have tentatively been scheduled for May 21, May 28 and June 7.
"We will appeal this case as far as necessary to ensure that the separation of powers principle is upheld in Massachusetts. We have filed an emergency motion with the United States Supreme Court today requesting a stay of the Supreme Judicial Court's Order establishing same-sex marriage. The republican representative form of government must be restored so the people can have a chance to define marriage, said Staver. "We haven't exhausted every appeal, the legal battle is just beginning. We're optimistic that one of the courts will rule in our favor."
Meanwhile, as conservatives brace themselves for the upcoming havoc, several Christian leaders have scheduled protests against gay marriage licenses across the states.
On May 17, the National Clergy Council will lead a protest outside of the City Hall with the theme, Protect the Dignity of Marriage.
On May 18 and May 22, the Campaign for California Families will lead protests in Los Angeles and Sacramento respectively, to support traditional marriage.
On May 23, the Family Research Council will lead a rally in Washington D.C. to encourage pastors to speak out in defense of traditional marriage.