Brian Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage, which is fighting for California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and he tells Newsmax he expects the Supreme Court to uphold the ban now that it has agreed to hear the case.
California voters in 2008 approved Proposition 8, which states that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized” in the state. The measure was overturned by a lower court, and that decision has been upheld in appeals.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
Proponents of the measure asked the Supreme Court to make a final ruling, and on Friday, Dec. 7, the high court agreed to hear the case.
Brown served as executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a socially conservative organization, and he became the National Organization for Marriage’s executive director when it was founded in 2007. He became president in 2010.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Brown was asked if he believes the Supreme Court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8.
“I do think so. We are ecstatic that the court took the case,” he says.
“Folks may not remember this but the lawyers for those that wanted to overturn Proposition 8 actually asked the Supreme Court to not take the case. That would have created gay marriage almost immediately in California and they would have used it as a precedent throughout the country. By the court accepting the case, we can get a resolution on this.
“It takes four votes [for the high court] to take a case. That shows that we at least have four votes. We’re going to have more and that’s because the arguments being made by the other side I just don’t think are going to withstand the court’s scrutiny. There is no constitutional right to redefine marriage and the court’s going to find that.”
The anti-Prop 8 lawyers Brown mentioned, Ted Olson and David Boies — who argued on opposite sides in the Bush v. Gore case — are seeking a broad ruling that is national in scope. But Brown says he is not overly concerned that the court could nationalize gay marriage.
“Anytime you’re at the Supreme Court, the stakes are so high. There’s a concern but I don’t think that [the lower court decision will prevail].
“That decision actually tried to say that the majority of Americans who voted on the issue of marriage were motivated by ‘animists,’ basically saying that the only reason people would stand up for traditional marriage is because of discrimination and hate. I don’t think the court’s going to find that.
“And then the Ninth Circuit tried to sort of narrow that ruling, and they ruled with this novel sort of legal theory that somehow once you have gay marriage in a state, as California briefly did because the state’s Supreme Court imposed it, that you can you never go back.
“The court does not want another Roe versus Wade where the court steps in and imposes its will on the whole country, especially when you have 31 states who voted on this issue in overwhelming numbers to support traditional marriage.
“Of course, we lost a few ballot initiatives this last cycle but those are in deep blue states. The overwhelming majority of states, as I said, 31 who’ve voted on this issue, have voted to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and the Supreme Court is not going to want to just throw those votes into the dust bin.”
President Barack Obama has endorsed gay marriage but also said the issue is best left to the states to decide in the near term.
Brown comments: “The administration’s position is just incomprehensible because the reality is that the Justice Department and President Obama have refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. They were obligated to do that, to uphold the law. It was a duly enacted law of the people of this country, through Congress, and they simply refused to defend it.
“The government and the lawyers [opposing Prop 8] are actually trying to say right now that the folks that are defending traditional marriage don’t have standing and therefore they want to win without even having a debate. That’s not what our legal system is based upon. The groups defending traditional marriage do have standing.”
Brown says Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who worked on the Defense of Marriage Act when she was solicitor general, should recuse herself from the Proposition 8 case, but “it does not look like that is going to happen.”
As for polls that show Americans are shifting in favor of gay marriage, Brown tells Newsmax: “We’ve heard time and time again that same-sex marriage is inevitable. It’s not inevitable. Remember, just six months ago, the voters in North Carolina voted by over 61 percent to protect marriage as a union of a man and a woman. We also did a nationwide poll in September showing that support for traditional marriage is between 57 and 60 percent. It’s simply not true that this country has abandoned traditional marriage.
“In deep blue states like Minnesota and Maine and Washington State and Maryland, even there traditional marriage outperformed the Republican presidential candidate by over six points. So to say that marriage is a losing issue when it’s getting much higher numbers than the Republican presidential candidate, even in deep blue states, is simply false.
“We’re going to have some more marriage votes in states like Indiana, possibly Ohio. Traditional marriage supporters are going to be able to win those votes.”
The Supreme Court is expected to rule by late 2013
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