Friday, May 8, 2009

Alliance Defense Fund to join - Yes On 8 as intervenors in a federal challenge to Prop. 8 and federal DOMA

05/08/09 Alliance Defense Fund press release:

ADF has been allowed to intervene in Smelt v. United States of America (C.D.Cal. Case No. 8:2009-cv-00286), challenging Prop. 8 and the federal DOMA under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. (See the Smelt complaint.) ADF joins intervenor - Yes On 8 , because these groups do not believe that California Attorney General Jerry Brown will provide an adequate defense of Prop. 8.

I have already expressed misgiving about the attorney, Richard G. Gilbert, who represents the plaintiff gay couple. Plaintiffs will avoid repeating the outcome of their earlier lawsuit, which the 9th Circuit dismissed for lack of personal standing to oppose the federal DOMA. But whatever the merits of arguments by both sides, this lawsuit strikes me as self-defeating for the plaintiffs. Their case appears more likely to serve the publicity aims of Gilbert, ADF, and Yes on 8 attorney Andrew Pugno - who asked ADF to intervene - than to advance the plaintiffs' legal goals. For a much more compelling test of 14th Amendment violations, I prefer the recent federal challenge to the federal DOMA that Gay & Lesbian Advocates filed in March.

Of course, my impressions may be altogether misguided. I would welcome comment.

05/09/09 update

05/09/09 Christian Post:

"Arguments for Smelt v. United States of America, meanwhile, are not expected to be heard until fall of 2009, said Jim Campbell of ADF."

05/11/09 update


"The new case asks the courts to both eliminate California's Proposition 8 and to issue a broad injunction to mandate "the use of gender-neutral terms in all legislation affecting marriage." The case leaves no stone unturned, challenging not only Proposition 8, but bans against same sex marriage in other states, and the so called 'Defense of Marriage Act' (DOMA) that was passed by Congress."


05/15/09 update

05/15/09 Dissenting In Part:

An unidentified blogger - apparently a law student (and a Brigham Young University graduate who blogs at Seeking Forgivenes For Prop 8) - explains why he finds the complaint "a bit odd."

05/19/09 update

05/19/09 (Source: ADF Alliance Alert)

ADF has intervened on behalf of the group Attorney Jim Campbell says the importance of the case is enormous.

"If the court finds that federal DOMA, for instance, violates the federal Constitution, then it will strike down federal DOMA and federal law will no longer define marriage as the union of one man and one woman," he explains. "If they strike down Proposition 8, then -- under the federal Constitution -- ...all of the work and the voice of [more than seven million] California citizens in defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman will be nullified."

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