Opponents of gay marriage in California
on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals
court ruling declaring Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.
Prop 8 is the 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment which put an end to the marriages of gay and
lesbian couples taking place in the state after the California
Supreme Court ruled against the state's ban on such unions.
Approximately 18,000 gay couples married before Prop 8 went into
In its filing, Protect Marriage, the
sponsors of the measure, described the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
ruling as “misguided.”
“Our constitution does not mandate
the traditional definition of marriage, but neither does our
Constitution condemn it,” the group said. “Rather, it leaves the
definition of marriage in the hands of the people, to be resolved
through the democratic process in each state.”
The court's ruling was crafted narrowly
and applies only to California. For that reason, gay marriage
advocates said they would oppose review by the high court.
“This case is about the equal rights
guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution,” said Plaintiffs'
counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. “Because two federal courts have
already concluded that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, gay and
lesbian Californians should not have to wait any longer to marry the
person they love. We therefore will oppose the petition for a writ
of certiorari. However, we recognize that this case presents
constitutional issues of national significance, and are ready to
defend our victories before the Supreme Court.”
HRC President Chad Griffin, who
co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) to bring
the case to trial, said he was confident that the Supreme Court would
uphold the ruling.
“Despite the losses in two federal
courts and millions of dollars wasted, the proponents of Proposition
8 persist in their effort to hurt California families,” Griffin
said in a statement. “Even if the Supreme Court decides to review
the Ninth Circuit's decision, I am confident that they will come to
the same conclusion as the judges, appointed by Democrats and
Republicans, who have heard the case before them: Prop 8 simply
Blankenhorn, Prop 8 witness, reverses course on gay marriage.)