Thursday, Feb. 28 was the last day for officials to file briefs ahead of the Supreme Court of the United States ruling on California’s Proposition 8 limiting marriage to between one man and one woman. According to Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday and Thursday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and President Barack Obama, respectively, have both asked the court to uphold the lower court’s ruling on the law.
Harris was able to call into question the legal standing of an organization like Protect Marriage to challenge the California court ruling. She attacked their claim that marital rights be based around ability to conceive, adding the protection for children should not be tied to whether they are with their biological parents or adopted in addition to concerns being addressed for all couples that cannot conceive.
The state’s interest in protecting children, including the over 40,000 children in California being raised by same-sex parents, is poorly served by allowing so many of them to grow up feeling inferior because their family unit is not validated and honored by law.
It was mostly on the strength of financial support from Christians and Mormons that Prop 8 passed. The vast majority of money being spent on the issue by both sides was from out-of-state, but millions more in funds from outside California went to pass the measure. That money, church leaders and the high turnout of African Americans supporting Barack Obama all played a role. Before the election, most Californians supported equal marriage protection.
The case is being brought before the Supreme Court by the American Foundation for Equal Rights and plaintiffs Kristen Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled the measure was unconstitutional but also ruled Protect Marriage did have standing to challenge rulings, setting up this battle at the highest court in the land.
Details of the Obama Adminstration brief were not immediately available, but U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called gay marriage the latest civil right issue. “It is the question of whether or not American citizens are going to be treated with equal protection of the laws,” Holder said in an interview with ABC News.
The case is scheduled to have opening remarks as soon as March, and a decision is expected on it by late June of 2013.