Proponents and opponents of California’s Proposition 8, the amendment that essentially bans gay marriage in the state, are in a fierce legal battle. But one thing they can agree on is that the case will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Andrew Pugno, general counsel of ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Prop. 8, told The Christian Post on Friday that yesterday’s court ruling means the voter-approved ballot initiative is not dead and that “both sides agree this case is ultimately destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Proponents of California’s Prop. 8 saw a major victory Thursday when the California Supreme Court ruled they had legal standing and could continue defending the amendment.
In August 2010, then Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down the 2008 amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Both the governor and attorney general at the time refused to appeal Walker’s ruling even though Prop. 8 was a state law and should be defended by the state.
This led to ProtectMarriage.com to step in and start the appeal process. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court, which began hearing the appeal case in December 2010, questioned if ProtectMarriage.com had legal standing to defend Prop. 8. The court requested the California Supreme Court to determine the legal standing of ProtectMarriage.com.
Alliance Defense Fund attorney Dale Schowengerdt said that since the merits of the case were already briefed and argued by the 9th Circuit Court, the case should move faster. However, it is expected that whichever way the court rules, there will be an appeal by the loser.
Family Research Council Tony Perkins said in a statement that while "it is unconscionable that the Governor and Attorney General have abdicated their responsibility to defend their state's constitution against attack in federal court,” he believes the silver lining is this new ruling.
“The people's decision to preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman will now receive a robust defense, not merely a perfunctory one,” said Perkins.