BOSTON (BP)–A pro-family lawyer urged a federal appeals court June 7 to halt same-sex “marriages” in Massachusetts, arguing that the state high court overstepped its authority in issuing its controversial ruling.
Liberty Counsel’s Mathew Staver told the First Circuit Court of Appeals that the Massachusetts’ high court -– called the Supreme Judicial Court — had no authority to legalize same-sex “marriage” in the state. The ruling was issued last November and took effect May 17.
“The SJC impermissibly amended the constitution’s definition of marriage, which is universally recognized as the union of a man and a woman,” Staver told the judges, according to Reuters. “It has violated the separation of powers.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the vice president of the Catholic Action League and 11 state legislators.
Liberty Counsel and three other pro-family groups argue that the ruling by the Massachusetts court violated both the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Staver asserts that Massachusetts’ constitution gives authority over marriage laws only to the legislature and the governor. Because the legislature and the governor were not involved in the ruling, Staver argues, the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of a republican form of government (Article 4, Section 4) was violated.
On May 14, the appeals court refused to issue an emergency stay preventing the ruling from taking effect, and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently refused to get involved. The appeals court did, though, agree to hear oral arguments.
The court gave no indication as to when it would rule.
In addition to Massachusetts, same-sex “marriage” is legal only in Belgium, the Netherlands and three Canadian provinces.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit