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ADF attorneys ask California Court of Appeal to rehear AB 205 case

ADF:  Court’s decision based upon erroneous assumptions
Published On: 10/18/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Tuesday asked the California Court of Appeal to reconsider its refusal to overturn AB 205, the state’s Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act, saying that the court’s ruling was based upon erroneous assumptions.

“It is not reasonable to say that California voters did not have domestic partners in mind when they voted on Proposition 22,” said ADF attorney Robert Tyler, who argued before the appeals justices on March 25 against AB 205, a bill that grants the same benefits of married couples to unmarried “domestic partners.”

“The ballot materials for Proposition 22 in California were prepared before the court in Vermont decided to allow the first civil unions.  But the election on Proposition 22 came afterward,” Tyler explained.  “So, the fact that the Proposition 22 language does not contain the exact words ‘civil unions’ or ‘domestic partners’ does not change the clear indication that when California voters went to the polls, they undoubtedly had Vermont in mind.”

On April 4, the California Court of Appeal refused to grant a writ of mandate requested by ADF attorneys on behalf of the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund that would have invalidated AB 205 in the case William J. Knight, et al., v. The Superior Court of Sacramento County and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The motion for rehearing filed Tuesday also argues that AB 205 undermines marriage in that it grants the same benefits of married couples to both same-sex and some opposite-sex “domestic partners,” contradicting the claim that AB 205 does not conflict with Proposition 22, California’s Defense of Marriage Act.

ADF attorneys note in the motion that the recent decision by Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco to declare Proposition 22 unconstitutional used AB 205 to rule that no rational basis exists to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in California.

“Judge Kramer’s ruling is at odds with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that AB 205 has no impact on Proposition 22,” Tyler said.  “Such inconsistent rulings cannot both be right.”

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. 

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