Calif. Judge Dismisses Challenge to Prop 8

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Traditional marriage supporters applauded a federal judge's order Friday, to throw out a challenge to Proposition 8 that claimed the measure violated the U.S Constitution.     

"The people of California want marriage to remain as the union between one man and one woman; they made their voice clear last November at the polls," Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brian Raum said.    

California voters passed Proposition 8 last November to define marriage as only being between a man and a woman, effectively prohibiting gay marriages from state recognition. The measure took effect Nov. 5  

"We are pleased that the court dismissed the challenge to Proposition 8, which asked the court to nullify the voices of more than 7 million California voters," Raum added.    

Soon after the measure passed, gay couple Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer filed a suit against California's Prop 8, as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act claiming both measures violated the state's Equal Protection Clause.

In the July 17 ruling, U.S. District Judge David Carter removed the state of California as a defendant in the lawsuit against Prop 8 and DOMA. Only the U.S. government will remain a defendant when portions of the case will be heard Aug. 3 by the California Supreme Court.

Carter's ruling stated that because the gay couple who brought the challenge against DOMA in December 2008 were married during a short window of time when same-sex marriage was legal, they had no standing to challenge the measure. The California State Supreme Court already decided that marriages such as theirs would stay intact even after voters approved Prop 8.       
Andrew Pugno, chief legal counsel for ProtectMarriage.com said he was pleased with the ruling.     

"The twice-expressed will of the people of California for traditional marriage is under assault from many lawsuits, but our recent string of victories in both state and federal courts is very gratifying," he said.

Sources: The Alliance Defense Fund, The Christian Post

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