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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jailminister, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Jailminister

    Jailminister New Member

    Jun 10, 2003
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    Alliance Defense Fund Home Page
    For immediate release ADF Media Relations
    September 22, 2003

    10 a.m. Monday News Conference
    On Sacramento Lawsuit against Gov. Gray Davis

    Davis Thumbs Nose at 60% of Californians
    By Signing AB 205 Sex Partner Bill

    SACRAMENTO, CA – California State Senator William Knight and a California non-profit organization, the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, are filing a lawsuit Monday against Governor Gray Davis for trampling the rights of Californians by signing AB 205.

    Two national legal organizations represent Senator Knight and the non-profit organization: the Alliance Defense Fund, America’s largest public interest religious liberty legal alliance, and the Center for Marriage Law, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

    The Governor signed AB 205 Friday night at a ceremony at The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.

    AB 205 nullifies many aspects of the California voters’ adoption of Proposition 22, a ballot initiative approved three years ago by a 2-1 margin. According to Proposition 22 and California law, only marriage between one man and one woman is valid in California. However, Proposition 22 was not simply intended to place a copyright on the word “marriage;” it was intended to protect the institution of marriage, including all rights, benefits, and duties of marriage.

    AB 205 attempts to extend the duties, benefits, and rights of marriage to so-called “domestic partners.”

    The voters who approved Prop 22 defending traditional marriage are the same voters who will be deciding Davis’ fate in the upcoming California recall election. Senator Knight was the sponsor of Proposition 22.

    The Monday news conference is scheduled for the north steps of the capitol in Sacramento at 10 a.m. The suit will be filed in the Superior Court of the State of California in Sacramento. According to the attorneys involved, the case is paramount if democracy, the right to ballot initiative, and the rights of voters are to be safe from tyranny.

    "California voters have spoken and they don’t want marriage hijacked by Governor Davis or anyone else,” said Vincent McCarthy, director of the Center for Marriage Law. "This action by the Governor shows crass contempt for democracy in California. More than 60 percent of the voters said they want marriage to be between one man and one woman, and they don’t want Davis trampling that decision made by the democratic process.”

    Bob Tyler, counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund and a California resident, said “the Governor may believe that voters should be ignored, but we’re here to say the California Constitution and the rule of law still matter.”

    Several critical facts support the voters in this lawsuit:

    California voters approved Proposition 22, a ballot initiative measure, on March 7, 2000 with 61.4% voter approval.
    Proposition 22 was codified on March 8, 2000 as Family Code § 308.5.
    The purpose of Family Code § 308.5 was to protect the institution of marriage, including the marital rights, benefits, and responsibilities that are legally guaranteed by the state as an integral part of the institution of marriage.
    Family Code § 308.5 states “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
    Davis, acting in his official capacity as Governor of California, signed AB 205 into law, contravening the purpose and intent of Proposition 22.
    The Legislative Counsel’s Digest, dated July 16, 2003, states in pertinent part that “this bill [AB 205] would extend the rights and duties of marriage to persons registered as domestic partners on and after January 1, 2005.” As a result, AB 205 expressly conflicts with Proposition 22.
    AB 205 provides all benefits, duties, rights, etc. to domestic partners that are “granted to and imposed upon” spouses, former spouses, widows or widowers, and former or surviving spouses.
    “There is no doubt in our minds that AB 205 is unconstitutional and ultra vires,” Tyler said.

    The Alliance Defense Fund and its allies have won challenges in similar attempts to undermine marriage in numerous states. In Lilly v. Minneapolis, 527 N.W.2d 107 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995), in a case about health insurance coverage in a matter of statewide concern, the court ruled that Minneapolis has no authority to provide domestic partner benefits. In Connors v. Boston, 714 N.E.2d 335 (Mass. 1999), the court ruled that Massachusetts cities cannot provide domestic partner benefits. In Devlin v. Philadelphia, 809 A.2d 980 (Pa. Commw. 2002), the court said Pennsylvania's defense of marriage act prohibits Philadelphia from providing domestic partner benefits.

    ADF is also defending marriage from attacks in Arizona, New Jersey, Maine, Nebraska, Florida, and Massachusetts.