Friday, December 19, 2008

Brown asks Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8

Brown asks Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8

The California Attorney General Jerry Brown has asked the state Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8, arguing that the voter-passed ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Brown, the state's chief law enforcer, said after the measure passed last month that he would defend it in court.

But in his surprise filing this afternoon, Brown said as the "chief law officer of the state, he is "duty bound to uphold the whole of the Constitution" and not merely the power of the people to change the laws by initiative Brown also said that Proposition 8 "deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution."

Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,"

he wrote in responses to challenges filed by gay-right supporters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Hours earlier, sponsors of Prop. 8 filed arguments asking the court to uphold the ballot measure, which passed with a 52 percent majority. Andrew Pugno, attorney for the Yes on 8 campaign, said he was disappointed by Brown's stance.

The court ruled 4-3 on May 15 of this year that California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partner of their choice and discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation.

However Prop. 8 amended the state Constitution to overturn the ruling and declare that only marriage between a man and a woman is "valid or recognized in California."

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