In urging an appeals court to overturn
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that stuck down
California's gay marriage ban, backers have called the ruling
“egregiously selective and one-sided.”
After conducting a 13-day trial in
January, Walker last month ruled Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional
because it violates the right of gay men and lesbians to equal
protection and due process. It is the first time a federal judge has
ruled on the constitutionality of a state-enacted gay marriage ban.
In written arguments submitted Friday
to the the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for
ProtectMarriage.com, the sponsors of the ban, chided Walker for
ignoring relevant information, including “judicial authority, the
works of eminent scholars past and present in all relevant academic
fields, extensive historical and documentary evidence,” in finding
the law unconstitutional and basing his opinion “almost exclusively
on an uncritical acceptance the evidence submitted by Plaintiffs'
He “simply ignored virtually
everything … that ran counter to its conclusions,” lawyers wrote
in their 134-page brief.
The challenge was organized and funded
by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is
scheduled to submit its arguments next month. AFER is representing a
gay couple and a lesbian couple who have been denied the right to
marry because of Proposition 8.
Attorneys for ProtectMarriage.com urged
the three-judge appeals court to ignore the testimony presented at
trial, calling it “unreliable and ultimately irrelevant.”
Lawyers also rejected Walker's
conclusion that Prop 8 supporters backed the measure out of animus
towards gay men and lesbians, calling it an attack on the “many
judges and lawmakers and millions of Americans who rightly and
reasonably understand that marriage is the unique union of a man and
In a statement released Friday, Chad
Griffin, president of AFER, defended Walker's ruling, which he said
was “based on our nation's most fundamental principles, and that
the Constitution does not permit unequal treatment under the law.”
“Regardless of the
defendant-intervenors' protests, the fact remains that Proposition 8
is unconstitutional, as was proven conclusively and unequivocally
through a full federal trial,” Griffin said.
Oral arguments in the case are
scheduled for the first week in December.