Defenders of California's Proposition 8, an amendment that sought to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, asked the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that declared that not recognizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
Last month, the full 9th Circuit declined to review a 2-1 decision that struck down the constitutional amendment, enacted in 2008 as Proposition 8, which more than 7 million California voters approved to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
"Marriage is a universal good that has been honored by diverse cultures and faiths for the entire history of Western Civilization," said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. "The Protectmarriage.com legal team looks forward to standing before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the people's right to preserve this fundamental building block of civilization. The democratic process and the most important human institution – marriage – shouldn't be overthrown based on the demands of Hollywood activists."
ADF attorneys are part of the legal defense team for ProtectMarriage.com, the banner organization for the official proponents and campaign committee of Proposition 8.
On Feb. 7, two judges on a three-judge 9th Circuit panel in Perry v. Brown upheld a federal district judge's decision ruling that California's marriage amendment violates the U.S. Constitution.
"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 state public policy," explained lead counsel Charles J. Cooper with the Cooper & Kirk law firm. "The lower court decisions essentially rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent while attacking the character and judgment of millions of Californians. We are hopeful and confident that the Supreme Court will grant review and ultimately uphold its precedent and the will of the people."
The petition asking the Supreme Court to review the case states, "The Ninth Circuit's charge of anti-gay animus is…at war with its own acknowledgment that the question whether marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples is one 'over which people of good will may disagree.'… The Ninth Circuit's charge thus defames over seven million California voters and countless other Americans who believe that traditional marriage continues to serve society's legitimate interests, including the citizens and lawmakers of at least 41 States, the Members of Congress and President who supported enactment of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the large majority of state and federal judges who have addressed the issue, and until very recently President Obama."
Obama announced in early May that his "evolution" on same-sex marriage is complete. He appeared on TV during an interview in which he said that he now favors allowing gay couples to marry. Obama said that in particular, gay members of his staff and the military were influential in his decision.
The petition also warns of the potential effect if the 9th Circuit's ruling is allowed to stand: "It is thus all but certain that the decision below, despite its professed narrowness, will in due course lead to States throughout the Circuit being forced to redefine marriage by judicial decree."
Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that says it advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.