Overturning Prop 8 Violates Voters Rights;
Repudiation of Attacks on Religion, Particularly Catholics
WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2013 – Catholics for the Common Good and the Marriage Law Project filed an amicus brief today with the Supreme Court in support of the California Proposition 8 legal defense. The brief was explicitly offered in the same spirit in which lay Catholics rose to challenge unjust laws banning interracial marriage.
Professor Robert A. Destro,
When California voters passed Proposition 8, the brief states, they merely reaffirmed “the unique biological and cultural status of the only civil institution that unites male-female couples with each other and any children that might be born from their union.” The lower courts disagreed, holding that Proposition 8 was “nothing more or less than a judgment about the worth and dignity of gays and lesbians as a class.”
Robert A. Destro, a well-known Catholic legal scholar and author of the brief, said, “The Constitution guarantees protection of the political equality of American citizens. Citizens are not to be demonized, as they were in the lower courts, because they refuse to affirm a series of hotly-disputed political and cultural ideas about the nature of marriage, gender identity, and human sexuality that have enormous cultural and civic consequences.”
Professor Destro noted that “the Prop 8 trial featured a sustained attack on religion. Catholic teachings on marriage condemned as ‘irrational’ by these judges are rooted in centuries of reflection on the dignity of the human person and the reality of the human condition. Catholics have successfully defended marriage against racial and eugenic restrictions since the Middle Ages. We thought it important that the Court know that much of its own case law is rooted in that history.”
“Unless members of the Court repudiate its previous holdings that the ‘physical differences between men and women . . . are enduring’ and a ‘cause for celebration’, it must restore power to the voters to affirm the very institution on which the entire natural, legal and social order depends – marriage between a man and a woman,” Destro continued.
Catholics for the Common Good President, William B. May explained, “Redefining marriage has the unintended consequence of removing from the law the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads. Given the tragic social and human consequences of the breakdown of marriage, this institution must be promoted, not eliminated.”