American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Hear Prop. 8 Case

The proponents of California’s Proposition 8 have asked the United States Supreme Court to review the landmark federal appeals court ruling in Perry v. Brown (now Hollingsworth v. Perry) that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  Proposition 8 stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

“The Supreme Court has long held that the freedom to marry is one of the most fundamental rights—if not the most fundamental right—of all Americans,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies.  “As we have said from the very beginning of this case, the denial of that fundamental right seriously harms gay and lesbian Americans and the children they are raising.  Today’s petition presents the Justices with the chance to affirm our Constitution’s central promises of liberty, equality, and human dignity.”

“This case is about the equal rights guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution,” said Plaintiffs’ counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.  “Because two federal courts have already concluded that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, gay and lesbian Californians should not have to wait any longer to marry the person they love.  We therefore will oppose the petition for a writ of certiorari.  However, we recognize that this case presents constitutional issues of national significance, and are ready to defend our victories before the Supreme Court.”

“Two federal courts and a majority of Americans agree: discriminatory laws like Proposition 8 have no place in the United States of America today,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer.  “This petition by the anti-marriage forces is the last gasp of a dying argument that cannot overcome our Constitution’s guarantee of liberty and equality for all.”

On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark ruling that affirmed the historic August 2010 judgment of the Federal District Court that struck down Proposition 8.  The Ninth Circuit held:

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”

On June 5, 2012, the full Ninth Circuit denied Proponents’ request for an eleven-judge panel to rehear the case, known as rehearing en banc.

Proponents’ request for Supreme Court review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, is only granted upon an affirmative vote of four Justices.