Of course, in the wake of today’s decision, Protect Marriage is vying for an indefinite stay of today’s ruling and an appeal, as we knew they would. What’s sad is that Andy Pugno talks as if he hasn’t even read the decision (maybe he hasn’t). Protect Marriage’s press release reiterates the same old demonizing stereotypes that Judge Walker disregarded. Take a look:
SACRAMENTO – Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Proposition 8, released the following statement today in response to the ruling of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case:
“Today’s ruling is clearly a disappointment. The judge’s invalidation of the votes of over seven million Californians violates binding legal precedent and short-circuits the democratic process. But this is not the end of our fight to uphold the will of the people for traditional marriage, as we now begin an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Pugno must have missed the part where Walker wrote, “That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as ‘fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.'” We can thank the Jehovah’s Witnesses for that precedent.
It is disturbing that the trial court, in order to strike down Prop 8, has literally accused the majority of California voters of having ill and discriminatory intent when casting their votes for Prop 8.
Actually, the court doesn’t say that. What he says is that the proponents of Prop 8 had discriminatory intent, which they spread through fear-based propaganda that fed into untrue stereotypes. The law is discriminatory, whether the voters understood it to be or not. (See Findings of Fact 45, 47, and 57-68, 79, and 80.)
But the reality is that Prop 8 was simply about restoring and strengthening the traditional definition of marriage as the unique relationship of a man and a woman, for the benefit of children, families and society.
At trial we built a solid record to show that marriage has served as the foundation of the family and society as a whole, has universal functions and features attributable only to unions between a man and woman, has been defined in both law and language as a union between a man and a woman, and acts as the predominate relationship in which to create and support children.
It’s a cute line, but it’s simply not true. The experts’ testimony showed that the “traditional definition of marriage” was quite shortsighted and that given the equality of individuals in marriages, there is no compelling interest in maintaining only opposite-sex marriages. (See Findings of Fact 21, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, among others.)
It’s amazing (but unsurprising) that Protect Marriage continues to encourage the evil misperception that gay and lesbians put children at risk. (See Findings of Fact 70, 71, 72, 76, and 79.)
We are confident that the trial court record we built will help us ultimately prevail on appeal and reverse today’s ruling.
You mean like how your star witness’s testimony was thrown out?
Reversing today’s decision will also serve as a reminder that the role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law only as enacted by the people and their elected representatives, not to impose new social policies.
Andy, did they not teach you at McGeorge School of Law that the Constitution is the ultimate law of the land, not the whim of a simple majority? (I’d be embarrassed to be a McGeorge alum today!)
And federal precedent is clear that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage. To prevail in the end, our opponents have a very difficult task of convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to abandon precedent and invent a new constitutional right.
Actually, after today’s decision, that is simply wrong. Today’s decision affirmed that marriage is a constitutional right and that to prohibit same-sex marriage is simply to discriminate based on sex and sexual orientation. There is nothing new in this decision except validation for the lives of gays and lesbians throughout time and space.
Best of luck to Andy Pugno and the Protect Marriage team. You’re going to need it.
By the way, I don’t believe in luck.