Susan Jones | Morning Editor | Monday, November 29, 2004
The plaintiffs, including a number of state lawmakers, argued that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in legalizing same-sex marriage, usurped the authority reserved to the State Legislature.
The plaintiffs wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the 2003 Massachusetts ruling. But Lambda Legal, a homosexual advocacy group, said it's not surprised that the Supreme Court refused to weigh-in on the Massachusetts ruling.
"The bottom line is that nobody is being harmed by the Massachusetts state law treating all couples equally," Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director David Buckel said in a statement.
Lambda Legal has filed lawsuits in four states -- California, New Jersey, New York and Washington -- on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the right to legally marriage. The New Jersey case will be heard in a state appeals court next week, and briefs were filed in state courts last Wednesday in the Washington and California cases.
"This decision highlights the need for an amendment to the United States Constitution protecting marriage and defining it as the union of one man and one woman. Marriage will be defined by someone," said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel.
"I would rather have it defined by the people of the United States instead of the judiciary," added Staver. "This battle is far from over. The Constitution should protect the citizens of Massachusetts from their own state Supreme Court's usurpation of power."
"Today's sidestep by the Supreme Court further illustrates the need for a national definition of marriage," said Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Dr. James C. Dobson.
"The courts have long proven themselves to be no friend of the traditional family or traditional values - today's announcement further confirms that truth. As long as the fate of marriage and morality in American rests with the judiciary, the nation's families remain vulnerable," Dobson said.
"Only an amendment to the U.S. Constitution will allow every citizen's voice to be heard. America cannot afford a patchwork definition of marriage, with courts and local officials redefining it at will," he added.
"This nation must have a clear and unified standard of its foundational institution - the amendment process is the only foolproof method of protecting marriage for all Americans," Dobson concluded.