Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, filed an amicus brief Thursday urging the US Supreme Court to strike down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying Proposition 8 “is in clear conflict with our Constitution.”
“Proposition 8’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional,” Coakley writes in the 31-page brief. “Denying gays and lesbians the opportunity to wed the partner of their choosing does not advance any legitimate governmental interest.”
Thirteen other states, including New York, Illinois, and Maryland, join Massachusetts in the brief, which asserts that the California law violates equal protection rights. Some of the states, such as New Mexico and Illinois, have not legalized gay marriage.
“Proposition 8 codifies the second-class status — for its own sake — of gays, lesbians, and their families,” the brief states. “Under any standard of Equal Protection analysis, it cannot survive review.”
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the constitutionality of the ban, and will also hear a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman.
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