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FRC Presents “Family, Faith, and Freedom Award” to ADF Lawyer

An attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund is honored by the Family Research Council for his successful defense in a landmark case that upheld the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment.

The Family Research Council honored Alliance Defense Fund attorney Mike Johnson with the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Award” at the annual Washington Briefing on Thursday. Mike Johnson successfully defended the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment against a court challenge last year.

During the award presentation, FRC President Tony Perkins stated, “James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, once wrote that justice will 'always be pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.' With clarity of conviction and purity of purpose, Mike Johnson has devoted his mastery of the legal arts to the pursuit of justice and the preservation of liberty.”

Johnson defended the right of the Louisiana people to amend their constitution with a definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.” The amendment, which also prohibits the recognition of same-sex unions from other states, was added to the state constitution on September 18, 2004.

In October, State District Court Judge William Morvant ruled that Louisiana’s Defense of Marriage Amendment addressed two purposes, marriage and civil unions, and was therefore unconstitutional. The issue was taken to the Louisiana Supreme Court, where Johnson argued that “the amendment has one purpose: to protect marriage from attack.”

The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with Johnson’s argument and upheld the amendment, stating that “each provision of the amendment is germane to the single object of defense of marriage and constitutes an element of the plan advanced to achieve this object.”

Johnson’s defense of the amendment in this landmark case “ratified the right of the people of Louisiana to amend their state constitution to protect the institution of man-woman marriage,” said Perkins.

"In these and other contexts, Mike Johnson has championed the family and honored its Divine Maker with personal and professional distinction. For his boundless energy and selfless devotion to the law written on the human heart, Family Research Council is honored to present Mike Johnson with the Family, Faith, and Freedom Award."

“We are so proud of the excellent and diligent efforts of Mike Johnson,” commented Gene Mills, executive director of Louisiana Family Forum, which led the efforts to win approval of the Marriage Protection Amendment.

Said Mills, “His handling of our Louisiana Marriage Amendment litigation was the deciding factor in its favorable outcome. I can think of no one who is a more worthy recipient for this award than Mike.”

The Alliance Defense Fund is the largest legal alliance in America dedicated to defending religious liberty. The Family Research Council is an organization committed to upholding the institutions of marriage and the family.

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