Federal Court Throws out Challenge to Calif. Marriage Amendment

A federal court Thursday threw out a legal challenge filed against California’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In December 2008, two men filed a lawsuit claiming that the California marriage amendment, which voters passed as Proposition 8 in last November’s election, violates the U.S. Constitution. The two men obtained a “marriage” license in California during the short window of time in which such licenses were allowed to be issued to members of the same sex.

In its order dismissing the two men’s challenge to the amendment, the court pointed out that the two men’s “marriage” license remains valid, as the California Supreme Court recently ruled that licenses obtained before Prop 8 was passed, under a former Supreme Court ruling that temporarily allowed same-sex “marriage,” would not be nullified.

“As Plaintiffs’ marriage is valid within California, they cannot present an injury with respect to the recognition of their marriage by the State of California…and, therefore, they do not have standing to pursue their claims against the State of California,” wrote the court

The court will hear arguments on Aug. 3 concerning the lawsuit’s remaining claims which challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“The people of California want marriage to remain as the union between one man and one woman; they made their voice clear last November at the polls,” said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brian Raum. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys represented ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent and campaign committee of Proposition 8, which was allowed to intervene as a defendant in the lawsuit in May.

“We are pleased that the court dismissed the challenge to Proposition 8, which asked the court to nullify the voices of more than 7 million California voters.”

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