Divided 10th Circuit Sweeps Away Democratic Right of Utah, Oklahoma Voters

CONTACT: FRC Press Office, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today a divided 10th Circuit Court of Appeals panel struck down Oklahoma's marriage amendment.  Last month the same appeals panel also struck down Utah's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. 

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following comments:

"Two appeals court judges in imposing marriage redefinition have substituted their own ideology for the right of the people to preserve marriage.  This divided court has swept away the 1,668,513 voters in Utah and Oklahoma who exercised their democratic right to preserve marriage in their respective state constitutions. 

"A strong dissent by Judge Paul Kelly notes that there is nothing in the 'earlier cases suggesting that marriage has historically been defined as only an emotional union among willing adults.'   He writes that marriage between a man and woman is much more than that and benefits society through strengthening families and communities.  In his previous dissent, he noted that imposing marriage redefinition 'turns the notion of a limited national government on its head.'  Judge Kelly is exactly right.  Voters have a right to preserve natural marriage as the best means of providing what every child deserves: a mom and dad. 

"The Left has long believed packing the federal courts with liberal jurists is the means of fulfilling a radical social agenda, as the American people refuse to endorse that agenda at the polls or through their elected representatives.  However, by such a radical departure from natural law and human history, these activist judges are undermining the legitimacy of the courts in the eyes of a majority of Americans.  These judges may want to take America over the cultural cliff, but don't be surprised when more and more Americans refuse to follow," concluded Perkins.