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Donaldson v. State of Montana

Hollingsworth v. Perry

U.S. Supreme Court
Last Updated

What's at stake

Affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Promoting the importance of both mothers and fathers.
Protecting the voters’ rights to direct social policy concerning marriage and family.

Summary

Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies became the sole defenders of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, when state officials refused to do so. Both a federal district judge and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the man-woman definition of marriage, approved by more than 7 million California voters, violated the U.S. Constitution. And they did so despite the fact that diverse cultures and faiths have used the same definition for centuries.

Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review. The Supreme Court took the case, but declined to decide whether Proposition 8 is constitutional because it concluded that it lacked authority to rule on that question in that case. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling scrapped the Ninth Circuit’s opinion, but left the district court’s ruling in place.

To protect man-woman marriage as a central building block of society, Alliance Defending Freedom joined this effort.  Men and women bring different but equally important gifts to family life, and children need both a mother and a father.  Preserving marriage as a union of a man and a woman recognizes this basic fact.  Alliance Defending Freedom continues to defend state laws like Proposition 8 that preserve the man-woman definition of marriage. 

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies defended Proposition 8 free of charge.

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
U.S. Supreme Court
6/29/2013
Appellate Court
6/28/2013
Appellate Court
6/28/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
6/23/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2012
U.S. Supreme Court
1/25/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/29/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/24/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/24/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
9/4/2012
Appellate Court
2/21/2012
Appellate Court
1/4/2012
State Supreme Court
11/17/2011
Trial Court
12/7/2009

Additional Resources

Audio and transcript of oral argument before U.S. Supreme Court (3/26/2013): Hollingsworth v. Perry

Video: Marriage symposium sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom and The Heritage Foundation, 3/19/2013 (34:53)

Quotes from legal experts and analysts who find district court decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger unpersuasive

Austin R. Nimocks: Court should have upheld heterosexual marriage (USA Today, 2013-06-28)

Alan Sears: The play's the thing (Townhall.com, 2013-04-26)

Caleb Dalton: Stepping across the line to support marriage (Townhall.com, 2013-03-28)

Austin R. Nimocks: The marriage debate: Let democracy work… (Wall Street Journal, 2013-03-25)

Doug Napier: That tail ain't a leg (Townhall.com, 2013-02-19)

Austin R. Nimocks: Mother, country and same-sex marriage? (Washington Examiner, 2013-02-16)

Kellie Fiedorek: Marriage: A relationship unlike any other (Townhall.com, 2013-02-13)

Jim Campbell: Usher in a redefinition of marriage, usher out religious liberty (Townhall.com, 2013-02-12)

Ken Connelly: The goodness of marriage (Townhall.com, 2013-02-11)

Caleb Dalton: Democratic debate on marriage better than judicial commands (Townhall.com, 2013-02-08)

Byron Babione: The opposite of the civil rights movement (Townhall.com, 2013-02-07)

Jordan Lorence: Marriage carries a public purpose (USA Today, 2012-12-10)

Alan Sears: Judges who redefine marriage will answer to ‘We the People’ (Washington Times, 2012-10-29)

Alan Sears: Even the pretense of tolerance is gone (Townhall.com, 2012-06-24)

Alan Sears: Marriage is marriage - Period (Townhall.com, 2012-06-07)

Austin R. Nimocks: Baltimore Sun in your eyes (Townhall.com, 2012-05-29)

Alan Sears: Peering through the smoke of marriage debate (Christian Post, 2012-05-27)