News Column

Gay Marriage Foes Line Up Arguments in US Supreme Court

Feb 4, 2013

Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News

Foes of same-sex marriage got a barrage of legal support this week in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In dozens of court briefs, organizations aligned against gay marriage urged the Supreme Court to uphold both Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex nuptials, and the federal government's 1996 law forbidding benefits for same-sex couples.

In addition, 19 states that outlaw same-sex marriage backed supporters of Proposition 8 in the Supreme Court, arguing that states have a right to define marriage and that courts should not interfere with the "integrity of their constitutions and democratic processes."

The Indiana and Virginia attorneys general wrote the states' brief.

In the two cases, more than 30 of the so-called "friend of the court" briefs were filed on behalf of protectmarriage.com, which is defending Proposition 8, and House Republicans, who are defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the Proposition 8 case March 26, and the DOMA case the following day. A federal appeals court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional last year, finding that it stripped away a previous right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

A different federal appeals court struck down DOMA last year in a case out of New York.

Defenders of the state and federal gay marriage bans filed their arguments in the Supreme Court in

January. Among the groups to back them this week were the Family Research Council and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Same-sex marriage advocates are expected to file their arguments in late February.



Source: (c)2013 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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