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Assembly Speaker Files Supreme Court Brief Opposing Prop 8

Feb 28, 2013

California Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) discusses same-sex marriage, sequestration and other issues with reporters Thursday at the State Capitol.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The speaker of the California Assembly has filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to overturn the state’s constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

In his friend-of-the-court brief known as an “amicus” brief, Speaker John Pérez  argues voter-approved Proposition 8 prevents him from passing bills at the State Capitol.

“Proposition 8 clearly inhibits my legislative role, preventing me and my peers from moving forward legislation on marriage equality – although clearly, we would like to do so if we were allowed.” 

Unlike other state constitutional amendments – which Pérez says simply set rules for how money can be spent – the speaker says Prop 8 deals with the fundamental right of marriage.

President Obama has also filed an amicus brief opposing Prop 8.

Oral arguments at the Supreme Court are scheduled for late March.  The justices could rule that same-sex marriage is legal or illegal throughout the country.  Alternatively, they could issue a more narrow ruling that deals solely with California based on the legal challenge to Prop 8.