Opponents of gay marriage have praised
Thursday's California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8.
a unanimous ruling, the court found that Proposition 8 backers
have legal standing to defend the amendment in court, because
otherwise state officials would have the right to veto a
Protect Marriage, the coalition of
mostly religious groups which put Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot
after the state's highest court had legalized gay marriage, last year
appealed retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling declaring the
law unconstitutional after state elected officials had refused to do
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
turned to the state Supreme Court to answer whether the group had the
legal right to defend the amendment in court.
“We welcome the decision of the
California Supreme Court upholding the right of those who put
California's marriage amendment on the ballot to defend it in court,”
said Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family
Research Council (FRC).
“It is unconscionable that the
governor and attorney general have abdicated their responsibility to
defend their state's constitution against attack in federal court.
However, the silver lining is that 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.”
Perkins added that he hoped the appeals
court would “recognize the absurdity of Judge Walker's claim that a
right to homosexual 'marriage' is found in the U.S. Constitution.”
Brian Brown, the president of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most
vociferous opponent of gay marriage, issued a similar statement.
“Although today's ruling from the
California Supreme Court confirms that the proponents of Prop 8 have
the legal right to defend their initiative when the state officials
refuse to fulfill their sworn duty, it is gratifying to know that the
over 7 million Californians who supported the initiative will have a
vigorous defense of their decision in our federal courts,” he said.
Supporters of gay marriage attempted to
spin the loss as a win, arguing that the ruling puts the case
back on track and increases the likelihood of it reaching the U.S.