This website was mounted in April, 2010, while we awaited final arguments in California’s Perry vs Schwarzenegger mormon-marriagecourt case.  The lawsuit submitted a challenge to the constitutionality of Proposition 8, wherein the citizens of California voted to overturn the decision of the California court to allow gay marriage. Proposition 8 defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  Gay couples already have full rights as participants in civil unions, but want access to the institution of marriage.  Both sides have presented their cases.  As the judge considers the merits of the suit, he can request materials from both sides.  The following is a letter from the General Counsel supporting Proposition 8 (traditional marriage).

Legal counsel for those opposing Prop 8 had to submit electronic communications that were internal just as the supporting side did, in spite of their tactical efforts to refuse.  Post trial briefs are then submitted, and then closing arguments ensue.

“As you know, we are still in the thick of the Perry v Schwarzenegger trial.  Both sides have submitted post-trial briefs to Chief Judge Vaughn Walker for his review. Closing arguments have yet to be scheduled.

“Essentially, our post-trial submissions ‘connect the dots’ between our legal arguments and the hard evidence we put forth during the three weeks of courtroom proceedings in January.  This [letter] will provide a snapshot of some of those arguments and evidence.  Look for more discussion of our legal defense of traditional marriage in coming emails.

“A primary foundation of our case is the history of the institution of marriage itself and the central role it has played for centuries in societies all across the globe. Historic marriage has its roots in pairing a man to a woman and has served as the foundation of the family and society as a whole. In fact, across societies, marriage has been defined in both law and language as a union between a man and a woman and acts as the predominate relationship in which to create and support children. As we have noted previously, and one of our expert witnesses spent a great deal of time addressing, the purpose of marriage through the ages has been and continues to be the ‘guarantee, insofar as possible, that each child is emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with the woman and the man whose sexual union brought the child into the world.’

“And while it is true that the traditional model of marriage between a man and a woman has been disputed of late in the United States, a set of universal functions of marriage remains:

  • Complementing nature with culture to ensure the reproductive cycle;
  • Providing children with both a mother and a father whenever possible;
  • Providing children with their biological parents whenever possible;
  • Bringing men and women together for both practical and symbolic purposes; and,
  • Providing men with a stake in family and society.

In addition, there are corresponding universal features of the institution of marriage, which include the following:

  • High social and legal authority and attractive incentives supporting the institution;
  • Maleness and femaleness;
  • A definition of eligible partners;
  • A public dimension;
  • Encouragement of procreation under specific conditions;
  • Mutual support between men and women and duties toward children; and
  • An emphasis on complementary parental roles and relationships.

“Simply put, to change the definition of marriage that has served California, the United States and every other country on Earth to include anything other than one man and one woman would result in such a profound change to the structure and public meaning of marriage as to severely damage society, possibly beyond repair.

“As we indicate in our Findings of Fact court brief, ‘no society has established same-sex marriage as a cultural norm. Leading linguists, lawyers, philosophers, and social scientists have always understood marriage to be uniquely concerned with regulating naturally procreative relationships between men and women and providing for the nurture and care of the children who result from those relationships.'”


Update August 4, 2010

On August 4, 2010, Judge Walker announced his decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.  Judge Walker’s statement to the press was…

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”

The judge added in the conclusion of the 136-page opinion:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

Morality and religion are at the center of the battle.  The lawyers trying to overturn Prop 8 in court spent most of their time tearing down religion.  The gulf between the religious view that God dictates moral law, and the irreligionist’s view that personal rights should be decided outside any religious or moral influence, grows ever wider.

Judge Walker’s verdict will be appealed in the 9th District Court.  “Although the media keeps referring to it as “the Prop 8” case, this lawsuit has the ability to affect every marriage law in America because Judge Walker ruled that defining marriage as the union of a man and woman violates the federal Constitution–and if that ruling is upheld all the way through the Supreme Court–it would mean that same-sex “marriage” would be legal in all 50 states.  This would serve to overrule the will of the people all in states that have passed laws stating that marriage is only between one man and one woman; essentially every federal statute and state amendment. Only five states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.  That makes this case, quite literally, the Roe v. Wade of marriage” (The National Organization for Marriage).  None of the states that allow gay marriage have put it to the vote; all decisions have been made in the courts or legislature, often opposing the consensus of the people.

By September, 2010, the 9th District Court had decided 1) to delay the performance of gay marriages in California until the case is fully decided; 2) that it was not required for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or Attorney General Jerry Brown to stand on behalf of Proposition 8 on appeal.  Neither of the two state leaders wants to stand on the appeal.  Now some private group must establish eligibility to stand before the court.  It may be that the court will not approve any single entity or group of entities to stand.  This would guarantee that Judge Walker’s decision is upheld.

Update January 4, 2011

Incoming California Governor Jerry Brown and incoming California Attorney General Kamala Harris will not stand to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.  California’s 9th District Court has found no precedent in allowing the proponents of Prop 8 to stand for the appeal, and so has referred this decision to California’s Supreme Court:

“It is critical that we be advised of the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws’ enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional. As we are aware of no controlling state precedent on this precise question, we respectfully ask the Supreme Court of California to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below.”

* Prop. 8 Judge Preps for Closing Arguments

* Questions posed by Judge Walker for both sides of the debate

* Prop. 8 supporters request non-recognition of 18,000 gay marriages

* Southern states pass pro-family legislation

* Judge Walker overturns Prop 8

* Prop 8 appeals will head to US Supreme Court

* Christian Science Monitor on Judge Walker’s Decision

* Children Neither Need nor Have a Right to a Mother or a Father?

* Imperial County Appeals Judge Walker’s Ruling

* Washington Post: Tyranny of the Minority

* Prop 8 Could Hang on Technicality

*9th District Court defers to California Supreme Court

*Supreme Court denies appeal to take gay marriage to D.C. voters

*Hawaii Kills Same-Sex Civil Union Initiative

*US Courts Will No Longer Defend the Defense of Marriage Act

*Maryland Gay Marriage Bill Dies with No Final Vote

*US Congress Seeks to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

*Problems with the above decision

*Motion Filed to Invalidate Judge Walker’s Decision

*Federal Judge Upholds Vaughn Walker’s Decision that Marriage is Discriminatory

*Catholic Charities Close Down Adoptions in Illinois

*New York Seeks to Protect Religious Liberties While Legalizing Gay Marriage

*New York Opponents to Gay Marriage File Lawsuits Against the State

*Gay Marriage Foes Can Stand in Court for California’s Proposition 8 (11/2011)