- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2006

July has been a good month for traditional-values groups, as six courts upheld the validity of marriage or amendments that support such unions.

From July 6 to July 14, a federal appeals court, four state supreme courts and a state superior courts issued rulings against homosexual plaintiffs seeking to “marry.”

“The early success of homosexuals using the courts to force their radical agenda on an unwilling nation appears to be turning on them,” said Brian Fahling, a lawyer with the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy in Tupelo, Miss.

However, homosexual rights groups are hoping that one or two state supreme court rulings expected this year will recognize same-sex “marriage” rights.

“We knew the fight for marriage would never be easy nor quick, but the country is on a clear trajectory toward equality, and we must never give up until we reach that point,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, who on Tuesday applauded Congress for rejecting a federal marriage amendment for the fourth time.

Washington state and New Jersey are closely being watched for pending marriage rulings in those states.

The Washington Supreme Court heard its same-sex “marriage” case 15 months ago, and rumors have been floated that the court, which has three members up for re-election, will wait until after the elections to issue a ruling.

Washington Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens recently dismissed such talk.

“We have never held cases. I resent when people say that,” she told the Associated Press. “It’s not going to be very long. We’re at the point now where I can say that,” added the justice, who is running for re-election.

The New Jersey Supreme Court, which heard arguments on its same-sex “marriage” case in February, is also expected to rule this year.

Of the six recent rulings, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ affirmation of Nebraska’s marriage amendment has been most reassuring to conservative lawyers.

The Nebraska amendment, passed in 2000, defined marriage as the union of opposite-sex couples and outlawed recognition of homosexual unions.

On July 14, three 8th Circuit court judges upheld the amendment, saying it and other state marriage laws “are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States.”

The Nebraska ruling makes clear there isn’t a fundamental right to same-sex “marriage,” said Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Chris Stovall.

A PlanetOut Network article by Ann Rostow called the Nebraska ruling a “debacle” and said the plaintiffs are considering an appeal to the full bench of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court or a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Elsewhere this month, the New York Court of Appeals and a superior court in Connecticut upheld state marriage laws, while the supreme courts of Georgia and Tennessee upheld the validity of marriage amendments. In Massachusetts, the state’s high court ruled that a referendum effort that could overturn its 2003 ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage” in that state was valid and could proceed in the ratification process.

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