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Court Rules Not to Stop Same-sex "Marriages" in Mass., Liberty Counsel Vows to Fight On

( [email protected] ) Jun 30, 2004 08:11 PM EDT

The First Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue an order halting Massachusetts' same-sex marriages which had been legalized on May 17. Pro-family Liberty Counsel, which filed the lawsuit, has promised to pursue protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

"The battle over same-sex marriage is far from over," said Liberty Counsel's President and General Counsel Mathew D. Staver in response to the ruling. "In fact, it is just beginning," Staver said, repeating the same statement he had made earlier before the hearing took place.

Staver represented Robert Largess, a Massachusetts citizen, and eleven Massachusetts legislators.

According to Liberty Counsel, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overstepped its powers when it redefined marriage.

Based on The Guarantee Clause in the U.S. Constitution, every State in the Union will have a Republican Form of Government that is based on the principle of separation of powers. The authority to hear marriage cases is only given to the Governor and the Legislature as part of the separation of powers, not to the Courts, according to the Massachusetts Constitution.

"When that (the separation of powers) is violated, as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did in this case, the federal government is obligated to step in to ensure that the citizen's right to have a Republican form of government in their state is protected," explained Liberty Counsel's statement issued after the ruling.

Following Massachusetts High Court's decision to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples on November 18, 2003, it stayed its decision for 180 days awaiting approval by the Legislature. Although the Legislature eventually passed the amendment, the decision should have been left to the voters for the 2006 ballot. Yet, the Court still allowed same-sex marriages beginning May 17, 2004.

Tuesday's ruling allowing same-sex marriages in Massachusetts to continue did not hinder Liberty Counsel's unrelenting fight to ensure that the people's voice will not be overpowered by judicial powers.

"We will continue to press this case to the United States Supreme Court to ensure that the separation of powers principle is upheld in Massachusetts. This case is vitally important - the republican representative form of government must be restored so the people can have a chance to define marriage instead of having the decision foisted upon them by the Massachusetts Judiciary," said Staver.

He concluded, "The circumstances in Massachusetts underscore the need for a federal constitutional amendment to preserve marriage between one man and one woman."