Dean Defends Marriage Before California Supreme Court

March 28, 2008

In a California Supreme Court case with considerable marriage implications, Mathew D. Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law and Founder of Liberty Counsel, presented an oral argument on behalf of the Campaign for California Families (CCF) earlier this month. The court hearing lasted approximately three hours, and a decision is expected within the next 90 days.

This case involves a four-year-old dispute over the constitutionality of California’s marriage laws. In February 2004, Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of CCF and its executive director, Randy Thomasson, to stop San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Same-sex couples and the City and County of San Francisco filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the marriage laws. All of those lawsuits were consolidated and have reached the California Supreme Court.

Liberty Counsel argues that the fundamental constitutional right to marry includes rights and obligations that cannot be eliminated, because they come from the inherent nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Commenting on the case, Dean Staver said: “Marriage is not just a private intimacy. Marriage is more. It has public consequences. Because of the power inherent in marriage, political operatives have frequently tried to hijack it to promote their agendas. Racists tried to do so by injecting race into marriage. We struck down those racist laws. Today the gay agenda is trying to hijack marriage to promote its political cause. We should not allow homosexuals or racists to hijack marriage to promote their political agendas. Court legitimacy is based on reason, history and precedent. The same-sex advocates prefer histrionics, not history; politics, not precedent; and ask the courts to use force, not reason. We should resist these ill-advised substitutions.”

Dean Staver continued: “Marriage is more than a private relationship between two people who love each other. While it is a private relationship, marriage serves a public purpose to preserve society’s interest in procreation and to provide the optimal environment for children. The state has an interest in protecting an institution that predates government in order to encourage responsible procreation among opposite-sex couples. Among opposite-sex couples, procreation is sometimes planned and sometimes unplanned. Children are thus the natural consequence of opposite-sex relationships. Providing for the next generation is essential to any society, but providing an environment that encourages stable relationships for the well-being of children is critically important. Marriage thus provides encouragement for opposite-sex couples to unite for the sake of children. Same-sex couples do not need marriage to encourage their unions, because such relationships never produce unplanned children.”

The arguments will be archived on the California Supreme Court’s website at