Regent Alum Advocates for Marriage Restoration in California



CONTACT ADF MEDIA RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or www.telladf.org/pressroom

ADF attorneys seek to defend Calif., federal definitions of marriage

Same-sex couple sues to eliminate marriage protections, demand ‘gender neutral’ terms in all marriage laws

SANTA ANA, Calif. — On behalf of the official proponents and campaign committee of the California constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys submitted a motion to intervene Friday in a lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the California amendment as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The new lawsuit alleges that both violate the U.S. Constitution.

“The people of California made their voice clear at the polls; they want marriage to remain as the union between one man and one woman. But this lawsuit is asking the court to nullify the people’s voices, as well as the federal law on marriage,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum.

In December 2008, a same-sex couple filed suit claiming that the California marriage amendment, which voters decisively passed in the November 2008 election, violates the U.S. Constitution. The suit also argues that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, is also unconstitutional. The couple asks the court to issue an overwhelmingly broad injunction “mandating the use of gender-neutral terms in all legislation affecting marriage.”

ADF-Allied Attorney Andrew Pugno, who is also involved in the intervention effort, recognized the importance of the proponents’ and campaign’s intervention in this case.

“The Proposition 8 official proponents and campaign committee, ProtectMarriage.com, are seeking to intervene in the lawsuit because the defense of California’s constitutional amendment should not be entrusted to the state attorney general, who has already argued that he thinks it should be ‘invalidated,’” Pugno explained.

This is the second lawsuit filed by the same two men challenging the federal DOMA. They lost their first challenge, Smelt v. County of Orange, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 2006.

Motion to intervene in Smelt v. United States of America submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division

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