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Proposition 8 Campaign Names Prominent Legal Counsel, Files Legal Arguments with California Supreme Court

Contact: Andrew P. Pugno, 916-608-3065

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- The official proponents of Proposition 8 and their campaign committee, ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8, filed written briefs with the California Supreme Court today defending the voter-approved initiative against legal challenges. The three anti-Prop 8 lawsuits were initiated by opponents the day after the measure passed in the November General Election.

Joining the legal defense of Proposition 8 is Kenneth W. Starr.  Starr formerly served as a Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and as U.S. Solicitor General, he argued twenty-five cases before the Supreme Court.  He remains active in the professional and educational legal community. As lead counsel, Starr will argue the case before the California Supreme Court on behalf of Proposition 8's official proponents.

The legal challenges against Proposition 8 claim that the measure could not be added to the constitution by ballot initiative, but rather only by a constitutional "revision," requiring either a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a statewide Constitutional Convention. California has not had such a convention since the last one held in 1879.

"We are confident that the will of the voters and Proposition 8 will ultimately be upheld," said Andrew Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com and the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund. "The addition of Dean Starr to this legal conversation will provide useful guidance for the Court in resolving these important issues."

Excerpts from today's legal filings include:

* "Petitioners' challenge depends on characterizing Proposition 8 as a radical departure from the fundamental principles of the California Constitution. [...] But that portrayal is wildly wrong. Proposition 8 is limited in nature and effect. It does nothing more than restore the definition of marriage to what it was and always had been under California law before June 16, 2008 - and to what the people had repeatedly willed that it be throughout California's history." (Page 16.)

* "Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions, or exclusions: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." ... Its plain language encompasses both pre-existing and later-created same-sex (and polygamous) marriages, whether performed in California or elsewhere. With crystal clarity, it declares that they are not valid or recognized in California." (Page 37.)

Legal briefing by the parties will continue through January 2009. A hearing on the case could be held as early as March 2009.

Copies of the written briefs will be available online at the California Supreme Court's website: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/prop8.htm. Dean Kenneth Starr will not be granting media interviews. The cases are Strauss v. Horton, S168047; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078; and Tyler v. State of California, S168066.