Supreme Court Declines to Issue Emergency Order Stopping Same-Sex Marriage In Massachusetts

May 14, 2004

BOSTON, MA - Today, the United States Supreme Court declined to issue an emergency stay of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages. The case will now be returned to the First Circuit Court of Appeals for a decision. That Court set the case for an expedited briefing schedule, with Liberty Counsel's Brief due May 21 and the State's Brief due May 28. Oral argument will be set for the week of June 7.

Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel, who argued the case before the Federal District Court on behalf of 11 legislators and a Boston resident, will present argument before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

In response to the ruling Staver said, "We will continue to press this case as far as necessary to ensure that the separation of powers principle is upheld in Massachusetts. The Guarantee Clause issue survives even though the Court refused to issue a stay against the Supreme Judicial Court's deadline to allow same-sex marriage of May 17, 2004. This case is vitally important - the republican representative form of government must be restored so the people can have a chance to define marriage. Although an emergency injunction has not been granted, I am pleased the court of appeals expedited the appeal and agreed to hear this case in the next few weeks. We will be asking for the court of appeals to issue an injunction to stop the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. The battle over same-sex marriage is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning. The circumstances in Massachusetts underscore the need for a federal constitutional amendment to preserve marriage between one man and one woman."

Updates will be posted online at http://www.lc.org/news

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