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Prop 8 proponents urge Supreme Court to uphold voters’ ban on same-sex marriage

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Proponents of California’s Proposition 8 — the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage — urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to preserve the state’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, the first of many arguments the high court will hear this year on the issue of marriage equality.

In an 83-page brief, Proposition 8′s defenders urged the court to reverse a lower court decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, asserting that California voters had a right to define “the vital social institution of marriage.”

“By adopting Proposition 8, the People of California demonstrated their belief that this matter is best resolved by the People themselves, not by their courts,” wrote Charles Cooper, a lawyer for

“The Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the People of California — or any State — from making this choice. To the contrary, it leaves them free to do what they are doing — debating this controversial issue and seeking to resolve it in a way that will best serve their families, their children, and, ultimately their society as a whole,” he wrote., the original sponsor of Proposition 8, is defending the law because California’s elected officials have refused to do so.

The group argues that preserving traditional marriage furthers society’s “existential interests in responsible procreation and childrearing.”

“An animating purpose of marriage is to increase the likelihood that children will be born and raised in stable and enduring family units by their own mothers and fathers,” Cooper wrote. “Because relationships between persons of the same sex do not have the capacity to produce children, they do not implicate this interest in responsible procreation and childrearing in the same way.”

The Supreme Court agreed late last year to hear the Proposition 8 case, as well as a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal ban on same-sex marriage benefits.

The court has also asked for legal arguments on the question of “standing” — whether lawyers have a legal right to defend the same-sex marriage ban because the governor and attorney general have refused to do so. A ruling against would allow the court to avoid the broader legal issues surrounding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

The high court will hear arguments March 26 in the Proposition 8 case, and the following day in the DOMA challenge.

Also on Tuesday, House Republicans urged the Supreme Court to uphold DOMA, arguing that gays and lesbians are a powerful interest group, and do not warrant “judicial intervention.”

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9 more reader comments:

  1. no dont do it

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:52am
  2. prop 8 has not held up in court, in all the trials thusfar. their only hope is for the supreme court to shrug the case off in a nakedly partisan manner. its not going to happen

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:55am
  3. Restricting constitutional freedoms is not what the Court is in business to do. Fuck you religitard Republicans.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:01am
  4. getting desperate because they’re cowardly bigots.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:07am
  5. A woman would not be holding the other end of that sign. She’d be keeled over from a life without healthcare. I dont think people understand what limiting civil rights does…they won’t stop at us, you’ll end up with none too.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:12am
  6. The stupid SOB’s will probably get it done.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:17am
  7. I believe the Supreme Court will rule against Prop 8 and most likely legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. With the recent wins at the ballot box and the Presidents inauguration speech, the time as come.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:18am
  8. They can’t. After Pres. Obama’s inauguration speech, where he linked gay rights to the civil rights of women’s suffrage and those of African Americans in the 1960′s, people finally made the connection about this not being about marriage only, but about the civil rights of all GLBT people in the USA–which includes the right to marry (which is a civil right as defined by the SCOTUS when they struck down laws against interracial marriage). We all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say, “with the exception of gay people”. The court will have no choice but to strike down the ban. If they chicken out to the special interest minorities, it will be decided by the US Supreme Court.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:20am
  9. dislike!They give the right to vote a bad name!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 12:47pm