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In Re Marriage Cases

In Re Marriage Cases

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Published by: malbarracin on Jul 14, 2011
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02/02/2013

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SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 
Case No.
 
S147999
 Coordination Proceeding
Judicial Council Coordination
Special Title (Rule 1550 (b))
Proceeding No. 4365First Appellate District
IN RE MARRIAGE CASES
 No. A110449(Consolidated on appeal with casenos. A110540, A110451, A110463,A110651, A110652)San Francisco Superior Court CaseNo. 429539(Consolidated for trial with SanFrancisco Superior Court Case No.429548) 
BRIEF
 AMICUS CURIAE 
OF THE COUNCIL FOR SECULAR HUMANISM AND THE CENTER FOR INQUIRY IN SUPPORT OF
 
THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, URGINGREVERSAL OF THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS Ronald A. Lindsay, Esq. Edward Tabash*Legal Director California Bar No. 72879Center for Inquiry 8484 Wilshire Boulevard,621 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. Suite 850Washington, D.C. 20003 Beverly Hills, California 90211(202) 546-2332;Fax:(202)546-2334 (323) 655-7506; Fax: (323) 655-3743
 
* Counsel of Record for
 Amici 
 
Council for Secular Humanismand Center for Inquiry
 
i 
TABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF AUTHORITIES
................................................................ v
STATEMENT OF INTEREST AND PURPOSE OF
 AMICUS CURIAE 
.................................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION
................................................................................. 2
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
............................................................ 3
ARGUMENT
......................................................................................... 4
I. ALL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT MUST REMAINSTRICTLY NEUTRAL IN MATTERS OF RELIGION.
........ 4 
A. The History Of The Establishment Clause DemonstratesThe Framers’ Commitment To Strict GovernmentNeutrality In Matters Of Religion.
......................................... 4
B. History Shows That The Framers Wanted To PreserveEqual Rights Of Conscience For Both Believers AndNonbelievers.
............................................................................ 5 
C. The Final Wording Of The Establishment Clause WasIntentionally Chosen To Prevent Government FromFavoring Belief Over Nonbelief.
............................................. 8
II. THE RELIGION CLAUSES OF THE CALIFORNIACONSTITUTION MANDATE GOVERNMENTNEUTRALITY IN ALL MATTERS OF RELIGION.
............. 13 
A. This Court Has Every Right To Interpret The StateEstablishment Clause As More Expansive Than TheNational Supreme Court’s Interpretation Of TheFederal
 Establishment 
 
Clause
.
............................................... 14 
B. This Court Has Every Right To Invoke IndependentState Grounds To Hold The Ban On Same-Sex MarriageUnconstitutional Under The California Constitution.
......... 16 
C. California Has Three Distinct Constitutional ProvisionsThat Clearly Show An Intent To Preserve GovernmentNeutrality in Matters Religion.
.............................................. 17
 
ii 
D. Not Only Is It Appropriate For The Court To AssertIts Right To Interpret The State
 Establishment Clause
More Broadly Than The U.S. Supreme Court InterpretsThe Federal
 Establishment Clause
, California’s Ban OnRespecting An Establishment Of Religion Can Be SeenAs Allowing A More Encompassing Interpretation ThanThe National Constitution.
.................................................... 20
III. THE BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, CURRENTLYIN FORCE IN CALIFORNIA, IS INDEED GROUNDEDIN RELIGIOUS BELIEF. THERE IS NO SEVERABLEELEMENT THAT COULD PROVIDE ANY SECULAR,INDEPENDENT, STAND-ALONE BASIS FOR THEBAN, OTHER THAN ULTIMATE RECOURSE TORELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.
......................................................... 22 
A. The Concurring And Dissenting Justices In The
 DecisionBelow
Acknowledge That The Ban Is Based On Religion.
. 22 
B. The Will Of Popular Majorities Is Irrelevant In EnforcingThe Prohibition Against Religious-Based Laws.
................. 23 
C. The Ban Is Not Only Based On Religious Doctrines, It AlsoUnconstitutionally Favors Some Religions Over Others.
... 24 
D. The Congressional Debates On The Defense Of MarriageAct Show How Legislation Banning Same-Sex MarriageIs Based On Religious Doctrines.
.......................................... 26 
E. The Efforts On The Part Of Many Religious PartiesAnd Amici, In The Instant Case, To Preserve TheBan, Shows The Religious Motivation UnderlyingThe Effort To Deny Same-Sex Couples EqualMarriage Rights.
.................................................................... 28 
F. The Overwhelming Religious Support For Proposition 22,Which Is Now Embodied In
Family Code § 308.5
, AndFor Attempted Prior Such Enactments In TheLegislature, Clearly Demonstrates The PervasiveReligious Nature Of The Ban.
............................................... 30

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