On September 24, 2010, the American Civil Rights Union filed a amicus brief defending marriage in the appeal of the same-sex marriage case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. The people of California voted to amend the California Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and woman, ensuring that California would hold to the same concept of marriage as it has always existed in America and through all of human history worldwide. In August 2010, a federal district court in San Francisco declared that the U.S. Constitution contained a previously-undetected right to same-sex marriage, and struck down this part of the California Constitution, ordering that same-sex marriages be performed immediately in California. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a stay of the district court’s ruling, and is now considering an appeal of the Perry case.
The ACRU brief focuses on why Supreme Court precedent requires that all fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution be deeply rooted in American history and tradition to be considered essential to an American scheme of liberty. As the district judge in Perry held that there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage, the ACRU brief assists the supporters of traditional marriage by amplifying upon this aspect of the legal argument in the case to prove to the appeals court why the district court decision is incorrect as a matter of constitutional law. Although the courts have recognized for decades an implied right to marry, the ACRU amicus brief explains to the Ninth Circuit why that right applies only to the joining of one man and one woman.