(Photo: Reuters/Robert Galbraith)
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Friday to hear two different cases involving same-sex marriage has brought mixed reactions, however Brian Brown who heads up the National Organization for Marriage has said he is "delighted" the nation's highest court will hear the case. He has insisted that the decision is a victory for proponents of traditional marriage.
"We're delighted," Brown told The Christian Post on a Friday afternoon phone call. "We're confident the U.S. Supreme Court will address the cases in a fair and equitable manner."
Asked if he was concerned at least one of the two rulings could strike a blow to traditional marriage, Brown remained upbeat.
"Sure, there is always the chance a ruling could go against your desires, but if the court had not decided to hear the Prop [Proposition] 8 case, then gay couples could legally marry in California. As of today, such marriages are still not legal."
Friday's announcement from the U.S. Supreme Court stated it would review the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act brought forth in the case of United States v. Winsor, as well as California's marriage amendment, more commonly known as Proposition 8, addressed in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based organization that defends pro-family causes, is part of the legal defense team for ProtectMarriage.com - the banner organization for the official proponents and campaign committee of Proposition 8, which in July asked the Supreme Court to review the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
Attorneys for the group have also filed friend-of-the-court briefs in defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in cases across the country.
"The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is constitutional as a matter of public policy," explained ProtectMarriage.com's lead counsel Charles J. Cooper with the Cooper & Kirk law firm.
"The lower court decisions in the Proposition 8 case essentially rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent. We are hopeful and confident that the Supreme Court will uphold its precedent."
Nonetheless, there are multiple gay activist groups that are also applauding the court's decision, but one group in particular is asking Congress to immediately repeal DOMA.
The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of gay conservatives who endorsed Mitt Romney in November's presidential election, has called on Congress to overturn DOMA, saying it is unconstitutional and violates both federalist principles and equal protection.
"Today's decision by the Supreme Court to review Proposition 8 and hear a challenge to DOMA is another step forward for California couples to marry, with the hope that the federal government will also recognize these marriages," said Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. "In recent years, many conservative judges have repudiated DOMA, and five of the eight justices who have overturned this anti-federalist and discriminatory statute were appointed by Republicans."
However, Brown points out that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that ruled California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, is the nation's most overturned appeals court, and has the most overturned judge sitting on its bench.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women of America also weighted in on the issue in a statement late Friday.
"By taking these cases, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to affirm our most cherished values by preserving the American people's right to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Those who persist in forcing their preferred redefinition of marriage on the country by rule of law stand squarely against everything on which this country was founded - most notably against the freedom of religion, which they argue should be suppressed whenever it interferes with their newly discovered constitutional 'right' to homosexual 'marriage'."
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, responded to today's decision to hear the two gay marriage cases by praying for the court.
"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear these cases is a significant moment for our nation," Archbishop Cordileone said. "I pray the court will affirm the fact that the institution of marriage, which is as old as humanity and written in our very nature, is the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is the foundation of a just society, as it protects the most vulnerable among us, children. It is the only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers together. We pray for the court, that its deliberations may be guided by truth and justice so as to uphold marriage's true meaning and purpose," Archbishop Cordileone said.
In November voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Experts say the court could issue a ruling by June of 2013.