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Ten states file anti-gay marriage brief in Proposition 8 appeal

Saturday, September 25, 2010
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Ten U.S. states signed onto a legal brief Friday in opposition to same-sex marriage, claiming a federal court “exceeded its judicial authority” when it ruled that California’s Proposition 8 — the 2008 voter-approved ban on gay marriage — was “unconstitutional.”

The amicus brief sent Friday to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that the U.S. Constitution does not require marriage to include same-sex couples.

The 39-page brief asserts that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right and questions the legal grounds of the decision; and holds that individual states, not the federal court system, have final say in decisions about whether to allow same-sex marriages.

“If public affirmation of anyone and everyone’s personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning,” the brief said.

In overturning Prop 8 last month, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled there was no legitimate state interest in preventing same-sex marriages and that “moral disapproval” alone wasn’t sufficient reason to justify banning it.

The case, Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, is on appeal.

The 10 states joining the brief, which was assembled by the Indiana Attorney General’s office, are: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Amicus briefs are often submitted in court cases by outside parties to volunteer their opinions on the cases.

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