Lawmakers Denied Role in Lawsuit Against Georgia Gay Marriage Ban

The Georgia Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will not hear an appeal by lawmakers requesting to defend the state’s constitutional marriage amendment in a lawsuit against the state.

Georgia passed a state constitutional amendment in November 2004 that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Supporters of the amendment pushed for its passage, saying that the amendment was needed to protect state laws that declare gay marriage and civil unions illegal.

Gay-rights advocates have since filed a lawsuit against the state. They claim that the language on the November ballot was misleading, because it failed to mention that the amendment also prohibits civil unions and the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages.

Former state Senator Mike Crotts, the author of the amendment, sought the right to defend the amendment in court. His request was denied by Superior Court Judge Constance Russell in January.

Following Russell’s decision, Crotts appealed to the state Supreme Court. However, on Friday, the Supreme Court decided to uphold Russell’s ruling and declined to hear the appeal.

Russell is expected to rule on the lawsuit soon, now that the appeal has been settled. Marriage amendments in Kentucky and Nebraska are also facing court challenges. No rulings have been issued as of yet in any of the cases.