HARTFORD, Conn. (BP)–Connecticut became the ninth state involved in a same-sex “marriage” lawsuit Aug. 25 when seven homosexual couples who had been denied marriage licenses sued the state.
Among the legal groups representing the couples are Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) — the same organization that successfully sued in Massachusetts for legalized same-sex “marriage” there. GLAD, based in Boston, also was involved in the Vermont case that resulted in court-ordered civil unions.
“Marriage is both a profound personal commitment and unique legal relationship that provides enormous protections to families,” Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s civil rights director, said in a statement. “As a simple matter of equality, it is time for Connecticut to end this discrimination against same-sex couples and their families.”
Connecticut is but the latest state forced to defend its marriage laws against same-sex “marriage” supporters. Lawsuits have been filed this year in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington. Indiana and New Jersey also are in court.
Although the current total of states involved in lawsuits is nine, that number does not include other states where cases have run their course, such as West Virginia, where homosexual activists lost in the state Supreme Court.
While West Virginia was somewhat of an anomaly — it was not considered a prime target — observers believe that judges in other states, such as Oregon and New Jersey, are likely to side with homosexual groups. A Washington state judge in early August issued a ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage.” It is being appealed.
Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton said homosexual activists are using a “simple strategy” — suing where they are “likely to get the most sympathetic hearing” and where defenders of traditional marriage are likely to have the most “difficulty.”
“They did that in Massachusetts,” Stanton told Baptist Press. “They’re doing it now in Connecticut, and they’re doing it in the most strategic courts where they are going to get the most favorable hearing by a very few people, and that’s the judges.”
When people vote on the issue, Stanton noted, same-sex “marriage” loses. In August a state constitutional marriage amendment passed in Missouri with 71 percent of the vote.
“When you take this issue to the people, they’re very, very clear about what they think,” Stanton said. “When you take this issue to activist judges, that’s where the other side is making all of their ground.”
Thus far, the major homosexual-rights advocates — Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union — have not challenged in federal court the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex “marriage” and gives states the option of not recognizing another state’s same-sex “marriage.”
If it is overturned, then all 50 states presumably would be forced to recognize same-sex “marriage.” The legal strategy by homosexual activists involves winning on the state level in order to strengthen their case in federal court.
Observers believe the major homosexual activist groups are waiting until after the presidential election to challenge DOMA so as not to hurt Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who opposes a constitutional marriage amendment and has said current law is adequate.
Bonauto told the San Francisco Chronicle in May that she had no plans to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act. She said that instead of rushing to federal court, the homosexual community should give Americans time to “wrestle” with the issue.
While the major homosexual groups are waiting to challenge DOMA, others are not. Two federal lawsuits have been filed against the law — one in Florida, the other in Washington state. The Washington state decision was handed down Aug. 17, when a judge upheld DOMA. The Florida case involves a lesbian couple “married” in Massachusetts who want their license recognized in Florida.
Pro-family leaders say the cases on the state level point to the need for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Stanton said the complexities of the legal strategy may explain why some people opposed to same-sex “marriage” have yet to embrace an amendment.
“It is a significantly complicated process, and it’s very difficult for people to understand how all the different interweavings play into each other,” he said. “And I think that is one of the things that keeps people from being as alarmed as they should.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage