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Federal court throws out challenge to Calif. marriage amendment

ADF attorneys represent

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal court Thursday threw out a legal challenge filed against California’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys represent, the official proponent and campaign committee of Proposition 8, which was allowed to intervene as a defendant in the lawsuit in May.

“The people of California want marriage to remain as the union between one man and one woman; they made their voice clear last November at the polls,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.  “We are pleased that the court dismissed the challenge to Proposition 8, which asked the court to nullify the voices of more than 7 million California voters.”

In December 2008, two men filed a lawsuit claiming that the California marriage amendment, which voters decisively passed as Proposition 8 in last November’s election, violates the U.S. Constitution. The two men obtained a “marriage” license in California during the short window of time in which such licenses were allowed to be issued to members of the same sex.

In its order dismissing the two men’s challenge to the amendment, the court wrote, “Proposition 8, as codified in Section 7.5 to Article I of the California Constitution, was recently held by the California Supreme Court to present no bar to the recognition of Plaintiffs’ marriage within California, as said marriage was performed before Proposition 8 was passed.... As Plaintiffs’ marriage is valid within California, they cannot present an injury with respect to the recognition of their marriage by the State of California...and, therefore, they do not have standing to pursue their claims against the State of California.”

The court will hear arguments on Aug. 3 concerning the lawsuit’s remaining claims which challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

ADF-allied attorneys Andrew Pugno of Folsom and Sam Kim of Buena Park also represent in the case. Pugno and ADF attorneys continue to defend California’s marriage amendment on behalf of in a separate lawsuit, Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

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.