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Liberty Counsel Responds to California's Failure to Vigorously Defend Marriage Laws

Contact: Liberty Counsel, Public Relations Department, 800-671-1776

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, Liberty Counsel is filing a reply brief at the California Supreme Court in a case involving the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The brief argues that the fundamental constitutional right to marry includes rights and obligations that cannot be eliminated because they come from the inherent nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, rather than from a state-sanctioned union of any two people who love each other.

The brief also responds to several briefs filed on August 17 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, who are sworn to support and defend state law but who argued in their briefs that the legislature is free to eliminate marriage and any rights associated with marriage. Liberty Counsel's brief points out that the Governor, the Attorney General and the plaintiffs who challenged the marriage laws failed to recognize that marriage is a significant constitutional right that cannot be renamed, limited, or eliminated by the legislature.

Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for California Families in this case, which is a consolidation of lawsuits brought by several pro-homosexual groups combined with Liberty Counsel's lawsuit against Mayor Gavin Newsom for illegally performing same-sex "marriages" in 2004. The California Supreme Court is expected to hold oral argument in this case early next year and could ultimately decide whether or not same-sex couples have the right to enter into same-sex "marriages."

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, who argued the case before the state appeals court and is scheduled to argue the case before the California Supreme Court, commented: "I am disappointed that the Attorney General's defense of California's marriage laws is tepid at best. The Attorney General is tasked with the duty to defend the express will of the people, and the people's will is unequivocally that marriage is between one man and one woman. If the Attorney General cannot perform his sworn duty, he ought to step aside and let someone do the job for him. The lack of aggressive defense by the Attorney General underscores the necessity of our defense of the marriage laws."