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Imperial County appeals judge's overturning of gay marriage ban [Updated]

The County of Imperial filed an appeal Tuesday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that deemed Proposition 8's ban of same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 earlier in the day to approve the appeal, according to the Imperial Valley Press. Close to 70% of Imperial County voters approved Prop. 8, which enshrined a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in the state Constitution.

Walker last week deemed the ballot initiative in violation of the U.S. Constitution in a case that is likely to wend its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorneys for official backers of Prop. 8, ProtectMarriage, have appealed the ruling. Walker last week denied Imperial County's effort to intervene in the case, saying the county lacked sufficient interests in the matter to do so. The county, represented by the Christian legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom, pledged to appeal that denial.

Separately on Tuesday, the county filed an appeal challenging Walker's core ruling on Prop. 8's constitutionality.

"The personal opinion of a single judge in San Francisco should not be substituted for the opinion of over 7 million voters," Advocates for Faith and Freedom General Counsel Robert Tyler said in a statement.

The appellate court will determine whether Imperial County has a right to move forward with its appeal.

[Updated, 4:20 p.m.: Also Tuesday, the American Bar Assn. declared in a resolution that gays and lesbians should have the right to marry in civil ceremonies and urged state legislatures to allow the unions, according to news reports. The resolution by the association's policy-making House of Delegates passed on a voice vote and only one person -- past president of the Ohio State Bar Assn. -- spoke against it.]

-- Lee Romney in San Francisco

Comments () | Archives (58)

This is AMERICA . We have a separation of church and state whether the fundamentalists think so or not.

Why is a CHRISTIAN legal organization representing a GOVERNMENT entity?

This smacks of what goes on in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

This should be deemed illegal and a waste of taxpayer money.

Soi Imperial County is being "represented" by the "Christian legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom." I guess Imperial County doesn't honor separation of church and state. This is pretty blatant.

I think it is absurd that a county with an estimated 11,000 people think they have the right to appeal a verdict of equality, I say boycott the entire county.

Um, the county can not supersede the state which has the jurisdiction over any county. The state has decided not to appeal. A county can not override that, specifically if they were not party to the suit. Sorry! Imperial(ist) County loses!

Marriage has nothing to do with religion. People have to stop forcing their beliefs on everyone else.

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Whoever started the Prop 8 Campaign obviously never read the U.S. Constitution.

So, General Counsel Robert Tyler, if 7 milion voters decided that midgets weren't allowed to wed, no judge should overturn that based upon the Constitution of the United States?

YES!!!!! Go get'em!!!!

Sounds like Imperial County needs to get it's priorities in order. With one of the worst economic outlooks and highest unemployment rates of any California county, doesn't Imperial County have more important things to be focused on and to spend its very limited resources on than appealing a lawsuit about whether two men or women can marry each other? And it sounds unconstitutional for a government entity (the county) to be represented by a religious organization. What happened to separation of church and state? Not the brightest bulbs in the bunch running things out there in Imperial it seems...

Imperial County doesn't have a right to appeal Walker's decision. Only the defendants in the Perry case can appeal - and that would be the Governor and the State of CA (the Attorney General) - both of whom have asked Walker NOT to stay his decision, so it's exceedingly likely they won't appeal. The proponents of Prop 8 (Protect Marriage) also don't have a right to appeal a decision in a case in which they aren't named. The only appeal here is whether or not they even CAN appeal...

It's just how the law works. If someone sues you for stealing their car, and the judge rules against you, only YOU have a right to appeal...not, say your bother...

Here's a great explanation of it all: http://www.lgbtpov.com/2010/08/lambda-legal%e2%80%99s-jon-davidson-explains-what%e2%80%99s-next-judge-walker%e2%80%99s-stay-of-his-prop-8-ruling-timeline-for-appeals-and-more/

Nice try Imperial County!

"The county, represented by the Christian legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom, pledged to appeal that denial." How can this be? Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

oh, brother.

"The county, represented by the Christian legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom, pledged to appeal that denial."

The county is represented by a "Christian legal group"?

What many of these "conservatives" forget is that many of the Founding Fathers didn't trust the judgement of the majority of voters. The Representative part of our system is a direct result of their fear of true democracy. They hoped that more calm, reasoned thinking would be followed by our representatives than would be prevalent in the masses. (That they were short-sighted as to what money would do to their system isn't really their fault.)
When that calm reasoning breaks down, they empowered the Judiciary, and yes, even one Federal Judge, to step between the mob and it's victims.
Strict constructionists sometimes lose discipline when confronted with truths they don't like

The majority voted twice to secure the definition of marriage, not re-define it. A few judges and a mayor feel it's their right to overthrow what the voters voted for. What's democratic about that? This has nothing to do with faith or hate as many say, it has alot to do with many people agree with the historical and dictionary definition of marriage. If gays want marriage, call it something else. I for one do not want to be expected to teach my grandchildren that there is no difference between man and wife or man and man. If there were no difference we wouldn't be debating this issue in the first place.

Once again,, the religious community who is protected from religious intolerance in the country by our constittuion and can not be subjected to the will of the voters, or the tyranny of the majority, can not look itself in the mirror and realize that protection of fundamental rights are not subject to the vote of the people,,,

if so, slavery would still be in place,,,, separation of the races would still be in place,, separate but equal would still be in place,, segregation would still be in place,, the illegality of mixed racial marriages would still be in place,, consensual sex between adults would still be illegal for certain citizens,,

and state sponsored discrimination against specific American citizens would still be in place

this ruling does not create harm or change the ability of any person or church to continue in their specific religious traditions and it continues churches the rights to choose who they will marry and what they can preach,,

it just stops organized religion from dictating their particular moral view onto everyone else in society,,, talk about religious intolerance?

this is about civil marriage and that the state has no interest in discriminating against one segment of its legal citizens by denying them all the benefits of marriage just because of their sex

think about it

This group apparently has not heard about the separation of Church and State,,

but i am sure they think this judge is an activist judge,,,,

and what of their actions to try to comport the civil law to their religious beliefs,,,

would that not get close to state establishment of a religion?

They are so blind in their own bigorty and hate,, they don't even see that their actions could be considered the actions of an Anti-Christ

Eric S: funny that you feel that way about 'just' 11,000 people, but apparently were perfectly fine with 1 judge overriding the entire state's voter base. Typical.

Get a life sir and stop being anti-marriage.

Kudos to Judge Walker and to attorneys Olson and Boies.

Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights in 21st century America.
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

And to CT for being a marriage equality state since 2008, and where I perform non-religious civil marriage ceremonies for couples all the time, many of whom have been together for 20, 30 and 45 years! (!).

As I read the court's Prop 8 ruling I quickly noticed that the Defendants failed to provide any witness and evidence to support their arguments. Judge Walker had no choice but, to rule in the favor of the Plaintiffs since they provided expert witness and evidence to support their positions. I doubt that this ruling will be overturned.

Perhaps some should read the story more closely. The County of Imperial is not suing to back any one particular religious view, they are suing to ensure that the votes of their residents (and a majority of those who voted in the 2008 election) count. This nation was founded on the ideal that the people had the ability to decide issues such as this. The constitution (1st Amendment) only states (in regard to religion) that the government shall not make any law that infringes on one's right to worship as they wish. I don't see Imperial County trying to do anything that would infringe on one's religious freedoms (although, many that comment against Prop 8 seem to forget that EVERYONE has the right to their views - nowhere in the Constitution does it say that citizens have the right to deride or verbally attack one another.....which amounts to harrassment).

Please show some respect - the same respect opponents of Prop 8 are asking for - and allow each to have their own views. After all, if opponents of Prop 8 are looking for acceptance, they will never have it by shouting, name-calling and attacking those who support it.

Just curious, who is the brave "1" in that "4-1" decison by Imperial County. We oughts be thanking that person for being courageous in a very dark place.

How can a county not have standing in an action overturning a vote of its residents? I am not debating how the appeal should turn out BUT how can they not have standing? Amazing

"The personal opinion of a single judge.." is not actually an opinion, but a historically documented precedent that No Constitutional Right can be put up to popular vote. The state of California and many others have violated the constitution by simply doing so, and they continue to violate it by leaving these laws in effect that make hard working loving American Citizens second class to others who should be their equals. It's about time this got some serious attention. No one in the land of freedom and equality that we boast America to be should have to fight for the constitutional rights they have been garuanteed.

Here is another group that doesn't understand the separation of powers and the fact that civil rights are not to be put to a poplular vote. It is unconstitutional on a FEDERAL level kids.

That's what judges do. There is a progression taking place through the democratic system we have under the Federal Constitution. Judges rule on constitutional law.

What we also have is separation of Church and State. That may stick in the craw of right wing religious folks, but it is the law of the land. Many religions have differing opinions, and to tell you the truth as I know it, I don't want any of them taking away my rights.

Imperial county is standing up for the rights of the majority who voted in favor of prop 8. It is time the people in this country fight against the minoritys who want to walk over the rights of the majority. Gays have all the legal rights married couples have, they just want to trample over what marriage represents to the majority. Even if this prevails, gays will never have the value marriage has to non gay couples.

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