US lawyers push for broad gay marriage ruling

By James Barnes

22 February 2013 at 12:52 BST

US lawyers challenging a California law which restricts same-sex marriage are urging the US Supreme Court to make a wide-reaching ruling that would give gays and lesbians an equal right to marry across the nation.

Lawyers camapaign for equal marriage rights

After filing a legal brief to the high court, Washington-based lawyer Ted Olson – a partner at LA firm Gibson Dunn –condemned Proposition 8, saying: ‘We believe this is a matter of fundamental rights,’ reports the Los Angeles Times.


‘Because of their sexual orientation -- a characteristic with which they are born and which they cannot change -- plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians in California and across the nation are being excluded from one of life’s most precious relationships,’ Mr Olson wrote in the brief, with co-counsel David Boies. ‘They may not marry the person they love, the person with whom they wish to partner in building a family and with whom they wish to share their future.’

Amicus brief

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year judged Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, after voters adopted the state constitutional measure limiting marriage to a man and a woman in 2008 so as to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling permitting gay marriage. The 9th Circuit said it is unconstitutional to take away such a fundamental right.
Were the US Supreme Court were to follow suit, it would void Proposition 8 and permit gay marriage in California, however its ruling would not affect other states.
Mr Olson said he would welcome support from the Obama administration. The deadline to file a so-called amicus brief in the California case is 28 February.


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