In Race to Supreme Court, MA Marriage Cases Take the Lead

Boston, MA – With breaking news about same-sex marriage coming from almost everywhere in the past week, Massachusetts elbowed its way back to center stage. The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston announced yesterday that it will hear oral arguments April 4 in three consolidated cases filed by the Commonwealth and inpiduals, challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

With the Prop. 8 defenders in California opting to seek rehearing by a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit, the First Circuit case could now reach the U.S. Supreme Court first, depending on how long the respective courts take to issue their decisions. Anticipating this possibility, Pacific Justice Institute filed amicus briefs in both the Prop. 8 and DOMA cases. Meanwhile, citizens in Washington State and Maryland are scrambling to put marriage protection referenda on their ballots after their legislatures and governors ignored public sentiment and approved same-sex marriage.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, says marriage redefiners are trying to stack the deck before the inevitable Supreme Court showdown. “The claimed federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage is dependent on the dubious notion of an evolving, elastic Constitution,” he noted. “Since ordinary citizens have consistently voted to uphold traditional marriage, LGBT activists are desperate to string together a few legislative and judicial victories this year to convince the Supreme Court that society has evolved in their favor. Now is the crucial hour for traditional marriage defenders to stand firm.”

Despite campaign promises, Americans can no longer count on President Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice to support traditional marriage. After initially offering a half-hearted defense of DOMA in court, the Administration has now dropped that pretension and is filing briefs attacking the federal law it is tasked with defending.