NCFPC Joins Prop 8 Brief
Special Report - September 24, 2010
The North Carolina Family Policy Council is one of over 30 family policy councils to join an amicus brief filed September 23 by the Liberty Institute in defense of California’s marriage amendment, Proposition 8, which is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The marriage amendment was adopted by a majority of California voters in November 2008, and same-sex “marriage” proponents in the state are seeking to have the measure overturned. As we previously reported, on August 16, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court stayed a controversial ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional and would have made California the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex “marriage.” The appeals court stayed Judge Walker’s ruling until a full panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears an appeal in the case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Both sides of the legal battle over Proposition 8 expect the case to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Liberty Institute amicus brief asks the appeals court to reverse the district court ruling that struck down Proposition 8. “Through the initiative process, the people of California have made their will known,” the brief states. “In their state, they want marriage to remain as it has for thousands of years. They spoke twice in eight years, and their will should not be subverted by one judge of one branch of the federal government redefining core institutions like marriage to follow the whims of the elite.”
In a press release, Liberty Institute president/CEO Kelly Shackelford said, “The judge’s ruling tells California voters that their votes and their voices are insignificant. Our nation was founded on the concept of self-governance that the people have the ultimate say, not an unelected, unaccountable group. Holding a trial to question the motives of 7 million voters and then overturning their votes because you consider their votes ‘irrational’ is the height of arrogance and inappropriate conduct for any judge. This decision must be overturned.”
Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council said, "This brief makes the point that the District Court turns on its head the very notion of our right to self-government. 30 states have passed constitutional amendments to declare marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The ruling in this case constitutes a massive intrusion by the federal government into the rights of the states. If the District Court’s ruling is allowed to stand then our entire system of government would be jeopardized."
In related news, the legal team defending Proposition 8 filed its opening brief in the appeal to the 9th Circuit on September 17. Proposition 8 is being defended by attorneys Charles J. Cooper and Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com (the official campaign committee of Proposition 8), as well as by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). The 100-page brief states, in part, “The simple truth is that ‘[t]here are millions of Americans,’ as one of the Plaintiffs’ own expert witnesses has acknowledged, ‘who believe in equal rights for gays and lesbians ... but who draw the line at marriage.’ And the people of California, 44 other states, and the vast majority of countries throughout the world continue to draw the line at marriage because that institution continues to serve a vital societal interest that is equally ubiquitousto channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring, stable unions for the sake of responsibly producing and raising the next generation.”
In a press release, attorney Andrew Pugno explained the far-reaching implications of the outcome of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which could negatively impact the state marriage amendments of 30 states, if Judge Walker’s decision is upheld after appeal. “What’s at stake is bigger than California and bigger than even marriage itself,” Pugno said. “The battle to protect marriage is the battle for America’s democratic system of government, religious liberty, and freedom of conscience in our age.” The 9th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case beginning December 6, 2010.
Judge Won't Stay Prop 8 Ruling - August 13, 2010
Judge Rules Prop 8 Unconstitutional - August 5, 2010
The Issue That Will Not Go Away - FNC Spring 2010
California Court Upholds Marriage Amendment - May 26, 2009
California Court To Rule On Proposition 8 - November 24, 2008
California Amendment Not Retroactive - August 8, 2008
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