Last edited: February 06, 2005

ACLJ asks Washington State Supreme Court to Uphold Marriage Between One Man and One Woman

The American Center for Law and Justice, (Fundamentalist Christian) February 4, 2005

Olympia, WA—The American Center for Law and Justice, specializing in constitutional law and pro-family issues, said today it has filed an amicus brief with the Washington State Supreme Court asking the high court to overturn a lower court decision that declared unconstitutional the state’s Defense of Marriage Act and called it “a fundamental right” for people to be able to marry whomever they want.

“This lower court decision is not only wrong, it is legally flawed,” said Vincent P. McCarthy, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “By declaring the state Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the lower court reached conclusions that are not rooted in law. We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court of the State of Washington will correct this injustice and overturn the lower court decision. Marriage should remain an institution between one man and one woman and we are hopeful the high court will come to that conclusion.”

In its brief, the ACLJ argues that there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage.

The brief states: “Despite a total dearth of authority for much of its analysis, the court below redefined marriage for the entire state of Washington.” The brief argues that “the trial court’s novel ruling was based on a flawed understanding of the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions, as well as a complete disregard for the Court’s substantive due process jurisprudence.”

The brief asserts that “it is absurd to suggest that the Supreme Court’s marriage cases are not limited to the historical institution of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. All of the Court’s marriage cases are anchored to the traditional definition of marriage.”

The brief also points out that in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas, the high court explicitly cautioned against taking its holding too far—which is exactly what the lower court did, according to the brief. The Supreme Court said Lawrence did “not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

In addition to the Washington State case, the ACLJ is also involved in defending the institution of marriage in Oregon, Connecticut, New Jersey, and in Nebraska where the ACLJ is assisting the Nebraska Attorney General in defending that state’s Defense of Marriage Act.

The American Center for Law and Justice is based in Washington, D.C.

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