After the Supreme Court’s decision essentially killing California’s Proposition 8, proponents of so-called “traditional marriage” have filed an emergency order asking that a stay on same-sex marriage in the state be reinstated.
Prop 8, a ballot initiative passed in November 2008, limited the right to marry to opposite-sex couples. In a ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court held that anti-gay marriage groups did not have standing to defend the law.
Arizona group behind suit
Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based group formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’s lifting of a stay that prohibited same-sex marriages in California.
The Ninth Circuit lifted the stay on Friday, two days after the Supreme Court’s decision came down.
Alliance Defending Freedom says the Ninth Circuit ignored the stay’s requirement that it be kept in effect “until final disposition by the supreme court.”
According to the group, that clause requires that the stay remain in effect for at least 25 days, which is the amount of time that petitioners are typically given to request a rehearing after a ruling from the high court.
“Hang it up”
John Eastman, who chairs the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage, told NBC News that his group views the Ninth Circuit’s decision “as illegitimate and lawless.”
Ted Boutrous, an attorney for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, told reporters that anti-gay groups “should hang it up and quit trying to stop people from getting married,” according to The Guardian.
Lack of standing
The Supreme Court’s standing decision was based on the the fact that California’s current governor and attorney general declined to defend the law; the court held that the anti-gay marriage groups could not stand in elected officials’ shoes, given that they had not suffered “a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct, and is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision."
“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” read the opinion, penned by Chief Justice John Roberts. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”
The Supreme Court’s decision came just before Gay Pride Weekend in San Francisco.