Defending the family

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PA President Eugene Delgaudio Hails California Court Victory Over Derelict Governor

Supporters of California Proposition 8 won a major victory at the California Supreme Court Thursday in a case that could have a significant impact on the future of gay "marriage" in America. The justices unanimously ruled that the official proponents of Prop 8 have the right to defend the state constitutional amendment in federal court -- an important decision because the governor and attorney general have refused to defend it.

Public Advocate President Eugene Delgaudio said "The governor and attorney general ignored their duties and responsibilities to the people who voted overwhelmingly and to uphold the law. Public Advocate condemned it when they first did it. Now the Judges have smacked them-- these irresponsible elected officials-- down as abandoning their obligation to defend a legitimate referendum and have simply awarded the right to defend Californians' rights to referendum to a more responsible citizens group."

The question of legal standing became significant soon after California voters passed Prop 8 in 2008, when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to defend it in court. The question soon arose: If the state officials charged with defending a law refuse to do so, can anyone else legally step into that role? The California Supreme Court said "yes." Otherwise, the justices said, state officials would have veto power over the citizens.

"Neither the Governor, the Attorney General, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote for the court.

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