American Foundation for Equal Rights

Statement by the American Foundation for Equal Rights on 9th Circuit Orders in Perry v. Schwarzenegger

Lawyers Theodore B. Olson and Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) during a conference call today responded to orders issued today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Audio of the conference call can be found at

AFER Attorney Theodore B. Olson also issued the following statement:

“The 9th Circuit has certified certain questions of California law for resolution by the California Supreme Court in order to assist them in determining whether the Proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal right to appeal the district court’s decision last August declaring that measure unconstitutional. We are confident that the California Supreme Court will answer those questions fully and expeditiously given the vital importance of this case to hundreds of thousands of Californians who are being discriminated against daily by the existence of Proposition 8. We are also confident that the Plaintiffs ultimately will prevail, and that the district court’s judgment will be affirmed.

“The district court’s decision last August found that Proposition 8 violates both the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and the rights of all citizens who wish to marry the individual of their choice if that person is of the same sex. It held that the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that marriage is a fundamental right in America—indeed, the most important relation in life, and a matter of liberty, privacy and freedom of association. That right may not be withdrawn based on a person’s sexual orientation or sex. The district court also found that denying that right was discriminatory, damaging, and without any rational justification.

“Every day that goes by, Proposition 8 inflicts immeasurable damage on California citizens, including not only gay and lesbian Californians but also the thousands of innocent children who are raised by loving, committed same-sex couples. Both the Governor and Attorney General of California have agreed that Proposition 8 is discriminatory, destructive and a violation of the United States Constitution. The Plaintiffs, and countless other Californians, have suffered from the effects of Proposition 8 for over two years. It is imperative that the district court’s judgment be affirmed as soon as possible, and that equality and decency be restored to all of California’s citizens.”

About the American Foundation for Equal Rights

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry case. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through federal district court and is now leading it through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals before the case is brought to the United States Supreme Court. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality.

Read the 9th Circuit’s rulings here.

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