California Supreme Court Upholds the People’s Right to Vote on Marriage in Upcoming Election
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The California Supreme Court rejected the case, July 16, brought by same-sex marriage advocates, who intended to prevent California voters from voting on the California Marriage Protection Act (“Amendment”) in November. The court’s decision means the Amendment will stay on the ballot. It also allows the Secretary of State to print voter information pamphlets on the issue.
Last month Liberty Counsel filed a motion to intervene in this lawsuit, asking the court to allow the people to vote on the Amendment. Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for California Families, Randy Thomasson, and Larry Bowler. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three voters and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Equality California against California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, who certified the Amendment.
On June 2, 2008, the Amendment was certified by the Secretary of State for the November ballot. The Amendment states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." If passed, the Amendment would nullify the 4-3 ruling of the California Supreme Court issued on May 15 and would ban same-sex marriage in California.
The same-sex marriage advocates were seeking to remove the Amendment from the November ballot, erroneously arguing that "the rules for revising the California Constitution were not properly followed." Their brief claimed that an initiative was not enough to put the Amendment on the ballot, since it must also be approved by two-thirds of the legislature. The suit also alleged that petitions for the initiative, which were circulated prior to the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, were misleading because they stated the Amendment would not change existing law and would not have a financial impact on the state. Liberty Counsel's motion to intervene disproved these claims.
Most Californians want the Amendment. A poll conducted on May 30, 2008, by ccAdvertising shows that 56% of California residents support marriage as one man and one woman. Another poll by the Los Angeles Times similarly revealed that 54% of those polled supported the Amendment and only 35% opposed it.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "If the people have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process, they will vote for marriage as one man and one woman. Those who push for same-sex marriage are willing to destroy both marriage and democracy to achieve a selfish result. Marriage between a man and a woman is best for our children and for our country."
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