Lower Court Rulings Striking Down California’s Prop 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act Rest on Faulty Logic, Brief Says

WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 30, 2013) Lower courts have misapplied the central finding in a previous case in their rulings against a federal law and a California constitutional amendment that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a brief filed on Tuesday by the American Civil Rights Union argues.

Noting that the earlier opinions rely heavily on the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state anti-sodomy laws, the ACRU brief, written by General Counsel Peter Ferrara, gives three reasons why that case does not apply to either the California Prop 8 case or the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

“First, Lawrence was a privacy and liberty case, which is why Lawrence itself said that its holding and reasoning did not involve the issue whether government must redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships…

“Second, even when the Constitution prevents governments from prohibiting certain conduct, it does not require them to promote or facilitate it…

“Third, the traditional definition of marriage has existed throughout the world for centuries and has been reaffirmed by a substantial majority of States and the Federal Government.”

Read the Press Release

Download the brief here. (PDF)