USA: Prop 8/DOMA Briefs Update

Written by scott on March 1st, 2013

Prop 8The window for submitting briefs in the Prop 8/DOMA cases is no officially closed, but there’s still a lot of news about them.

We’ll start with The New York Times, which published an editorial on President Obama’s last-minute Prop 8 brief:

The legal analysis advanced by the Obama administration leads inexorably to the conclusion that all attempts to ban same-sex marriage are inherently unconstitutional. But the administration stopped short of declaring that truth, recognized earlier this week even by the Republicans’ brief. In fact, the administration said the court need not consider the constitutionality of marriage bans beyond the context of this particular scheme.

Joe.My.God reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a brief against Prop 8:

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Proposition 8. The brief cites the anti-gay advertising employed during the Prop 8 campaign as ample evidence of animus against LGBT people. Among the citations are claims that pedophiles would be able to marry children and that humans would be able to marry horses.

LGBTQ Nation has more details on California’s amicus brief in the Prop 8 case:

The sole yet profound effect of Proposition 8 was to take away the right of gay and lesbian couples to call their union a “marriage” and to strip loving relationships of validation and dignity under law. It did not change any of the legal rights and responsibilities afforded same-sex couples and their children under California law. To be clear, Proposition 8’s singular purpose was to prevent same-sex couples from marrying, and its only function was to stigmatize the relationships of gay and lesbian families. There is absolutely no legitimate or rational state interest in doing so. Proposition 8 is therefore unconstitutional.

Defense of Marriage ActThe brief also goes after the proponents’ standing on the issue:

Unlike state officials, proponents have no authority to enforce Proposition 8, and suffered no injury-in-fact from the district court’s judgment enjoining its enforcement.

Joe.My.God reports that US Catholic Bishops are ordering parishes to consider sending parishoners to the National Organization for Marriage hate march while the Supreme Court deliberates:

We are grateful for this opportunity to express support for the Marriage March and to encourage participation in this event. We realize that the march will occur during the solemn days of Holy Week, but we ask that you consider promoting this event in your diocese and parishes and encourage participation where possible. The march will be a significant opportunity to promote and defend marriage and the good of our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will.

The Huffington Post has the story on the joint briefs for marriage equality filed by The Cato Institute and Constitutional Accountability Center, focusing on how DOMA and Prop 8 violate the 14th amendment:

Neither California’s Proposition 8, which forbids gay men and lesbians from marrying the person of their choice, nor the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a sweeping mandate of federal discrimination against legally-married same-sex couples, complies with the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. By forbidding committed same-sex couples from participating in what the Supreme Court has long recognized to be “the most important relation in life,” and the “foundation of the family in our society,” Proposition 8 contravenes the Equal Protection Clause’s central command of equality under the law. It establishes a class-based badge of inferiority that infringes upon the personal dignity and liberty of gay men and lesbians and their families.

On Top Magazine reports that two football players who support marriage equality have filed their own brief against Prop 8:

“Sports figures receive a celebrity status that influences a large majority of the American population,” the brief states. “For far too long, professional sports have been a bastion of bigotry, intolerance, and small-minded prejudice toward sexual orientation, just as they had been to racial differences decades earlier. That is finally changing, and changing drastically. This Court should correct Proposition 8’s action to remove marriage rights from same-sex couples because, as the district court and the Ninth Circuit majority so carefully explained, the advocates of Proposition 8 provided no evidence-based rationale – as opposed to one based on fear and prejudice – for treating LBGTQ citizens differently with respect to marriage.”

And finally, On Top Magazine also reports that hate group leader Peter LaBarbera is pissed off about all those companies for marriage equality:

In an interview with Instant Analysis (formerly OneNewsNow), LaBarbera criticized the companies for “pushing homosexuality on the American public. [W]hen you start pushing homosexuality on the American public using the government, that’s another matter. Then it becomes a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality,” LaBarbera said.

25 more days until the oral arguments before the Supreme Court.


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