Friday, December 12, 2008

Same-sex marriage case brings Napier back to Iowa (ADF attorney in Iowa case also comments on Prop. 8)

12/14/08 [Iowa] Daily Gate: Attorney Douglas Napier is a legal consultant for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund in the In re Marriage Cases. Napier said that the Iowa Supreme Court did not afford him opportunity to participate in the December 9th oral arguments in Varnum v. Brien. The case involves six same-sex Iowa couples who seek to marry. They are challenging the the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act, on grounds of due process and equal protection under the state constitution. About Varnum v. Brien, Napier observes: "One of the questions asked (of same-sex marriage supporters) is how does your reasoning prevent multiple partners? They didn't give a very satisfactory answer."

Napier says that "70 percent of the African-American community voted against [Prop. 8]. How dare they hijack the civil rights movement for their case. Apparently 40 million Americans are bigots."

According to the Daily Gate, Napier gave a number of media interviews. See, for example, his comments in this 12/09/08 Des Moines Register article. In a "sit-down with Register editorial writers ," Napier claims that Varnum plaintiffs " don't have those [due process and equal] protections, because no one has ever granted protected ... status based on sexual behavior." Camilla Taylor, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal, disputed his claims. She said that opponents of same-sex marriage would "deny families the protections they need to take care of each other." She also characterizes the Alliance Defense Fund as "an extremist organization that takes anti-gay positions on a number of issues." She adds that ADF's "positions ... do not reflect the mainstream."

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