Lawyer asks federal judge to stop Mass. marriage ruling
BOSTON (BP)--A pro-family attorney told a federal judge May 12 that the Massachusetts’ high court violated its own constitution and the U.S. Constitution by issuing the ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage.”
The judge, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro, said he would issue a decision either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Pro-family groups are asking for a temporary restraining order.
Whatever the ruling, it is expected to be appealed immediately to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court violated the [U.S.] constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government,” Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver, who made the arguments before Tauro, said outside the courtroom. “In fact, what the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did is take away the power of the people. [It] usurped the power of the legislative body.”
Staver asserts that the Massachusetts’ constitution gives authority over marriage laws only to the governor and the legislature. In addition, Staver says the ruling -- which was issued last November but is scheduled to take effect Monday, May 17 -- violates Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
The case was argued on behalf of Catholic Action League Vice President Robert Largess and 11 Massachusetts legislators. Defendants in the case are the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices, the state department of public health commissioner and the Boston registrar.
“It's an unusual time that we live in, and we're asking this court to intervene to prevent this constitutional train wreck,” Staver told Tauro, according to the Associated Press.
The lawyer for the defendants argued that the ruling was one of state law, not federal law.
Perhaps giving an indication of how he might rule, Tauro made a reference to the fight for racial desegregation of the 1950s and 1960s.
“They said it was going to be chaos, it's going to be the end of the world. It hasn't been,” he said, according to AP.
Meanwhile, a hearing scheduled for May 12 before a Massachusetts Superior Court judge was canceled. One of the plaintiffs in the case, former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn, told AP that the judge dismissed the case because it was similar to one that had been rejected by the Supreme Judicial Court May 7. Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund, who are representing Flynn, were in Massachusetts May 12 trying to get an emergency hearing.
Homosexual activists hope to use the controversial ruling as the first step toward legalizing same-sex “marriage” nationally. To do that, they must first find a federal court to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which gives states the option of not recognizing another state’s same-sex “marriages.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage.