Dissenters Scold Colleagues for Denial of Prop 8 Case Review

Appeals Court Denies Petition for En Banc Review
Prop 8 Defense Case Moves to Supreme Court
Marriage Amendment Remains in Effect Pending Appeal

by William B. May

SAN  FRANCISCO, June 5, 2012 -- This morning, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a split decision, denied a request by the Prop 8 legal defense team for a review by the full court (en banc) of the 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel in February that struck down Prop 8. The court did not disclose how close the deciding vote of the judges was, but the denial was not unexpected. It clears the way for the case to defend Prop 8 to go to the United States Supreme Court. We are pleased that the court decided to issue a stay that keeps Prop 8 in effect pending the appeal.

Noteworthy was the unusually strong language that three judges used in dissenting from today's decision. They referred to the President’s recent change of position on marriage, his affirmation that marriage is a state issue, and his call for the continuation of a conversation regarding the issue in a “respectful way”.

“Today our court has silenced any such respectful conversation,” the dissenting judges proclaimed.

The dissenters charged that the two judges who voted to overturn Prop 8 used a "gross misapplication" of case law to declare “that animus must have been the only conceivable motivation for a sovereign State to have remained committed to a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia.”

It is outrageous that two judges could find no rational reason for preserving the only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers. With a decision to redefine marriage to accommodate same-sex couples, the court effectively prohibited any public or private institution from advocating children be born into a real family with their parents united in marriage.

The dissenting judges further expressed their outrage by noting that “we (their court) have overruled the will of seven million California Proposition 8 voters based on a reading" of U.S. Supreme Court precedent that would be unrecognizable to the Justices who decided the case.

We expect ProtectMarriage.com, the proponents of Prop 8 in which CCG is participating, to file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court right away. This committee is doing a great job of defending the voters' right to define marriage in the California constitution as between a man and a woman, a reality that not only unites them with each other but with any children born from their union.

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