By Katherine Dean
Proposition 8 supporters had until midnight on Friday to file their opening brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals outlining their arguments for why the ban on gay marriage in California should be upheld as well as prove their legal standing to the appeal.
In a 134-page document submitted to the court late Friday, ProtectMarriage.com, the original sponsors of Prop 8, used largely the same argument that was set forth during the trial to support the measure, that is, restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples protects society by channeling procreative sexual activities between men and women into stable and enduring unions. Prop 8 lawyers also claimed that, in issuing his ruling to overturn the ban on gay marriage, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker “ignored an overwhelming body of evidence establishing the common-sense proposition that the institution of marriage has, virtually always and everywhere, been defined as a union of man and woman.”
Proposition 8 lawyers have requested that the appeals court reverse Judge Walker’s decision and uphold the ban on gay marriage, or at the very least, apply his ruling only to the four plaintiffs in the case.
In their filing, ProtectMarriage.com also addressed whether or not it has “legal standing” to appeal the case, which many have argued it does not. The people behind the site claim they have “standing” because they were the original sponsors of the law and because they defended it in court and are, therefore, acting as “agents of the people” of California.
ProtectMarriage.com further argues that their legal standing may be irrelevant because attorneys on behalf of California’s Imperial County have also filed an appeal in favor of Prop 8.
In a statement released Friday, Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that sponsored the Prop 8 lawsuit, reiterated that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. “There is no getting around the fact that the court’s decision was based on our nation’s most fundamental principles, and that the Constitution does not permit unequal treatment under the law,” Griffin said.
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