ADF asks Calif. justices to hold marriage order until amendment vote


ADF asks Calif. justices to hold marriage order

until amendment vote

Court petition seeks to avoid obvious possibility of legal problems
if decision goes into effect before Californians vote on amendment

SAN FRANCISCO — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a petition with the California Supreme Court Thursday asking the court to delay the effective date of its May 15 decision on marriage until after California voters have been heard on a constitutional amendment in November. ADF attorneys argue that doing so will prevent obvious legal problems from occurring if the court’s decision becomes effective prior to possible approval of the amendment.

“The people of California have a constitutional right to vote on marriage, and we trust the high court will respect the democratic process. The possibility of significant and unnecessary legal and social problems can be avoided by waiting to see what the California people desire when it comes to the meaning of marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy, who argued before the court March 4.

The high court ruled 4–3 on May 15 that Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional ( Alliance Defense Fund attorneys who defended Proposition 22 note that the outcome illustrates precisely why a state law alone is not sufficient to protect marriage.

“Amending the state constitution is ultimately the only avenue to ensure that no one interferes with the will of the California people on the meaning of marriage,” Lavy said. “We hope that the court will allow the California people to have their say on the amendment without enduring the potential problems associated with implementing the court’s decision before then.”

A copy of the petition filed by ADF attorneys Thursday in the California marriage cases, which includes Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco, is available at

The text of the proposed constitutional amendment is available at

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.