WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court fight over California's Proposition 8 officially began in earnest Tuesday, as the proponents of the constitutional amendment initiative banning same-sex couples from marrying filed their opening brief with the justices.
Arguing that the case brought by same-sex couples seeking to marry was unlike past gay rights cases where the court struck down anti-gay restrictions and also unlike Loving v. Virginia, in which the court struck down bans on interracial marriage, the proponents of Proposition 8 argue that there is no historic reason "for invalidating marriage as it has existed in California for virtually all of its history, as it was universally understood throughout this Nation (and the world) until just the last decade, and as it continues to be defined in the overwhelming majority of States and Nations."
The lawyers for Proposition 8's proponents sum up their argument as such:
Our Constitution does not mandate the traditional gendered definition of marriage, but neither does our Constitution condemn it. This Court, accordingly, should allow the public debate regarding marriage to continue through the democratic process, both in California and throughout the Nation.
Opponents of Proposition 8 who filed the lawsuit and California state officials, as well as outside parties, will file a response to Tuesday's filing. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the arguments on the case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, on March 26. A decision is expected by the end of June.