Coakley is leading a coalition of states in filing a brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing the laws violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and should be struck down. Coakley said the experience in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, shows that allowing same-sex couples to marry only strengthens the institution of marriage. Coakley led the filing of the amicus brief on behalf of Massachusetts and 13 other states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Both cases are reaching the appeals stage at the same time.