ADF attorneys submit motion to defend Calif. marriage amendment from new attack

ADF attorneys represent ProtectMarriage.com
Thursday, September 10, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are seeking to defend California’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman against a renewed legal attack. A recently amended lawsuit argues that a court should either toss out the amendment or declare that it does not apply to California marriages.

ADF attorneys and ADF-allied attorney Andrew Pugno submitted a motion to intervene Thursday on behalf of the campaign committee for Proposition 8, ProtectMarriage.com, and the former proposition’s official proponents, asking the court to allow it to become a defendant in the lawsuit.

“In America, we respect the results of fair elections. But once again, those who want to redefine marriage are using a lawsuit to attempt to achieve what they have not been able to obtain from either the people of California or the California Supreme Court,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum. “ProtectMarriage.com is asking to be allowed to intervene in this lawsuit, since the attorney general has already made it clear that he will not defend this portion of the state constitution.”

The lawsuit, Burns v. State of California, claims that the California marriage amendment does not apply to California marriages. It also contends that if the court disagrees, then it should declare the amendment unconstitutional because, the lawsuit argues, the amendment violates other rights guaranteed by the state constitution.

“The ramifications of this are staggering,” Raum explained.  “That would mean, for example, that if the people disagree with the way that the California Supreme Court interprets a constitutional provision, they would not be able to use the initiative process to change that provision to reflect what the people desire.  Not only is there no legal support for this position, but it would completely undermine our basic system of government, where political power is inherent in the people, not the courts.”

“The California Supreme Court arrived at the only correct conclusion when it last ruled on the marriage amendment: the people of California have a fundamental right to amend their own constitution,” said Raum. “ADF will vigorously defend the definition of marriage that has existed since the founding of the state, that has been affirmed by the people, and that has been upheld by the courts.”

ADF attorneys submitted the motion to intervene in the lawsuit with the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.