Contact: Matthew Kidd, Foundation for Moral Law
MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 16, 2015 /Christian Newswire
/ -- The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation that defends the right to acknowledge God and the duty to interpret the Constitution as written, says a local case involving same-sex marriage is not over, because the issue of retroactivity has not yet been decided.
In 2011 Paul Hard and David Fancher went through a same-sex marriage ceremony in Massachusetts and returned to live in Alabama. On 1 August 2011 David Fancher was killed in an accident involving a UPS truck. UPS paid a settlement to the Fancher estate, but Hard was not allowed to collect a spousal share of the estate because, according to the executor, Alabama law did not recognize same-sex marriage and Hard was therefore not a spouse. On Hard's behalf the Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against the State of Alabama to have Alabama's Sanctity of Marriage Amendment declared unconstitutional.
But a further complication arose. Patricia Fancher, the mother of David Fancher, retained the Foundation for Moral Law to intervene in the case. Although she had a loving relationship with her son, she said she did not want his name used to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. In October 2014 Hard, Fancher, and the State of Alabama each filed a motion for summary judgment, which Judge Watkins put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue.
After the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage laws, Hard asked the District Court to rule on his motion for summary judgment. But in a motion filed yesterday, the Foundation raised the question of whether the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision is retroactive as to past relationships, especially as to those which ended years, not months ago.
Foundation Executive Director Matthew Kidd stated, "The issue is not whether someone may marry a member of the same sex today. The issue is whether a court may or should look back four years and recognize a marriage that was not legally valid. Of course, if the marriage is recognized it will only cause further economic harm to a family which has already lost one its own. And if recognized, this man will be awarded an entire spousal share of the wrongful death proceeds which would be unjust even under normal circumstances considering the two were 'married' less than 3 months."
Foundation President Kayla Moore added, "It is outrageous that five unelected lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court think they can invalidate a constitutional amendment adopted by 81% of Alabama voters in 2006, on the flimsy ground that violates a so-called 'right' found nowhere in the Constitution. It adds insult to injury to contend that this so-called 'right' should be applied retroactively to matters that should have been settled long ago."