Leading up to oral arguments before the California Supreme Court as early as next year, Lambda Legal, lead counsel NCLR and the ACLU submitted our reply to the state’s attempt to defend its discriminatory policy denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Our brief demonstrates how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage violates the California Constitution’s guarantees of liberty, due process, intimate association, expression and equality.
In addition to our reply brief, we’ve also responded to an unusual request from the court asking both sides to answer four questions. One question asks how the court should interpret Proposition 22, a ballot measure passed in 2000 that prevents the state from respecting same-sex couples’ out-of-state marriages. We explain why Proposition 22 does not apply to marriages entered in California. If the state Supreme Court agrees, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger should be hard-pressed to find a plausible excuse to veto a marriage equality bill passed by the California Legislature, as he did last year.
The California Supreme Court agreed to hear these marriage cases last year after the California Court of Appeal reversed a decision by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer finding that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the California Constitution by discriminating on the basis of sex and infringing the fundamental right to marry. Lambda Legal, NCLR, the ACLU, Heller Ehrman LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell represent 15 same-sex couples, Equality California and Our Family Coalition. The California Supreme Court is considering six marriage cases under the title In re Marriage Cases.
Read the Briefs:
Respondents’ Consolidated Reply Brief on the Merits
This brief replies to the briefs filed by the State of California, Governor Schwarzenegger, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Campaign for California Families and demonstrates why it violates the rights of privacy, due process, intimate association, expression and equality under the California Constitution to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry.
Respondents’ Supplemental Brief
This brief responds to four questions posed by the California Supreme Court, including what the differences are between domestic partnership and marriage; what the fundamental right to marry protects; whether the name of marriage could be changed; and the impact, if any, of the federal Full Faith and Credit and Privileges and Immunities Clauses on this case.