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Broad support for marriage, initiative process reflected in numerous briefs filed with 9th Circuit

Friend-of-the-court briefs opposing attack on Calif. marriage amendment demonstrate concern about possible wide-ranging effects

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit received 25 friend-of-the-court briefs Friday in support of California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Included among the briefs is one submitted by 13 state attorneys general.

The briefs demonstrate the breadth of support for marriage, the amendment, and the state’s initiative process currently under attack in the federal lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger as well as the breadth of concern about the possible wide-ranging effects of the lawsuit. The case--being defended by the legal team, which includes attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund--could eventually affect 61 million Americans in the 9th Circuit and ultimately the entire country.

“What’s at stake in this case is bigger than California and bigger even than marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum. “These briefs demonstrate the wide-ranging concerns about marriage, voter rights, judicial activism, religious liberty, and other issues and how they will be affected nationwide if this lawsuit is allowed to prevail. A diverse number of Americans understand that this lawsuit seeks to impose--through a San Francisco court--an agenda that America has repeatedly rejected.”

Attorneys general for Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming filed a joint brief with the court in support of protecting marriage.

Among the numerous groups that also filed friend-of-the-court briefs are the American College of Pediatricians, Concerned Women for America, American Civil Rights Union, Eagle Forum, Catholics for the Common Good, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Family Research Council, and family policy councils from 29 states. One brief represents religious liberty concerns presented by a number of diverse religious groups ranging from Korean churches in Southern California to Catholics, Protestants, and Latter Day Saints nationwide.

ADF attorneys filed their opening brief with the 9th Circuit on Sept. 17 together with lead counsel Charles J. Cooper and Andrew Pugno, one of more than 1,800 attorneys in the ADF alliance and general counsel for, the official proponents and campaign committee of California’s Proposition 8. Oral argument will be held in the 9th Circuit the week of Dec. 6. 

  • Pronunciation guide: Raum (Rahm)


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.