Gay marriage foes praise Prop 8 ruling

Fri. November 18, 2011 10:40 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Opponents of gay marriage have praised Thursday's California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8.

In a unanimous ruling, the court found that Proposition 8 backers have legal standing to defend the amendment in court, because otherwise state officials would have the right to veto a voter-approved initiative.

Protect Marriage, the coalition of mostly religious groups which put Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot after the state's highest court had legalized gay marriage, last year appealed retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling declaring the law unconstitutional after state elected officials had refused to do so.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned to the state Supreme Court to answer whether the group had the legal right to defend the amendment in court.

"We welcome the decision of the California Supreme Court upholding the right of those who put California's marriage amendment on the ballot to defend it in court," said Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC).

"It is unconscionable that the governor and attorney general have abdicated their responsibility to defend their state's constitution against attack in federal court. However, the silver lining is that the people's decision to preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman will now receive a robust defense, not merely a perfunctory one."

Perkins added that he hoped the appeals court would "recognize the absurdity of Judge Walker's claim that a right to homosexual 'marriage' is found in the U.S. Constitution."

Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, issued a similar statement.

"Although today's ruling from the California Supreme Court confirms that the proponents of Prop 8 have the legal right to defend their initiative when the state officials refuse to fulfill their sworn duty, it is gratifying to know that the over 7 million Californians who supported the initiative will have a vigorous defense of their decision in our federal courts," he said.

Supporters of gay marriage attempted to spin the loss as a win, arguing that the ruling puts the case back on track and increases the likelihood of it reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.

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