September 27, 2010
Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that Michigan has
joined Indiana, Virginia and Louisiana before the United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit to challenge a district court ruling that overturned
California's marriage amendment defining marriage as the union between one man
and one woman. The amicus brief filed today in the case Perry v.
Schwarzenegger supports an appeal in defense of the California marriage
law. Michigan was one of four lead states to participate in the drafting of the
marriage between one man and one woman is a foundational institution of our
society, and the federal government and judicial activists should not interfere
with the states' protection of marriage," said Cox. "The recent decision to
overturn California's marriage amendment threatens marriage laws in Michigan and
forty-four other states, and it should be reversed."
On August 4,
2010, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling that overturned
California's Proposition 8, a state Constitutional amendment that defines
marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On August 17, 2010, the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a stay of the ruling, pending
review of the decision on appeal. The appeal is scheduled to be heard by a
panel of three judges from Ninth Circuit the week of December 6, 2010.
drafted the states' brief in support of the appeal in cooperation with Indiana
Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. The brief argues what the U.S.
Supreme Court has long recognized -- that states have a sovereign right to
regulate the institution of marriage, and the federal government cannot impose
itself upon that realm. The states also argue that the democratic choice to
support traditional marriage made by citizens in 45 states should be respected
and preserved. Michigan's own Marriage Protection Amendment was approved by
58.6% of voters in 2004.
General Cox defended the Marriage Protection Amendment by issuing an Attorney
General Opinion in 2005 that public employers could not provide benefits to
same-sex domestic partnerships on the basis of the existence of a union similar
to marriage. Cox intervened and successfully defended this view in the
National Pride v. Granholm case before the Michigan Supreme Court.
Michigan, there are thirteen states currently signed on to the brief defending
state marriage laws before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Indiana,
Virginia, Michigan, and Louisiana drafted the brief, with Alabama, Alaska,
Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming signing
on. Click here
to see a copy of the brief.
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