At least 3 dozen amicus briefs filed in case challenging Prop 8

Posted on 19 Jan 2009 at 10:17am
By Associated Press

Google joins those opposing anti-gay-marriage amendment

SAN FRANCISCO — Labors unions, churches and advocacy groups spanning the ideological spectrum are weighing in on the effort to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Thursday, Jan. 15 was the deadline to file so-called friend-of-the court briefs in the litigation seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The measure passed in November with 52 percent of the vote, eliminating the right to wed gays and lesbians had had in the state since mid-June.

After the election, gay couples and half a dozen counties brought a series of cases arguing the measure is unconstitutional and was improperly put before voters. In an unusual move, state Attorney General Jerry Brown has joined them in urging the California Supreme Court to strike down the ban, which amended the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

At least three dozen amicus briefs were submitted by the close of business. More than half of the interested parties, including the California Labor Federation, the California Council of Churches and the League of Women Voters of California, asked the court to invalidate Proposition 8.

Those filing briefs urging the court to uphold the measure included the Family Research Council, the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund, a Sacramento woman who worked for its passage, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

Internet search company Google joined other businesses in signing a brief in support of the lawsuits, saying California’s image has suffered since the divisive election.

"Denying employees basic rights isn’t right, and it isn’t good for businesses," Google General Counsel Kent Walker wrote in a blog posted on the company’s Web site. "We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success."

Along with deciding whether Proposition 8 is an unconstitutional abridgment of the civil rights of gays and lesbians, the Supreme Court has said it will determine whether the 18,000 same-sex marriages that were sanctioned before Election Day will be valid if it upholds the measure.

The court could hear arguments in the cases as early as March.

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