Federal Judge Will Rule Soon on Massachusetts Same-Sex Marriage Case

May 12, 2004

BOSTON, MA - At today's hearing, district Judge Joseph Tauro denied the Attorney General's request to dismiss Liberty Counsel's case against the Masschusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and also denied the request of the Goodridge plaintiffs, represented by GLAAD, to participate as parties in the litigation.

Judge Tauro listened carefully to arguments presented by both sides. Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel, argued the case on behalf of 11 state legislators and a Boston resident.

Questioning focused on the power of the state court to define marriage. Judge Tauro commented that the U.S. Supreme Court had breathed new life into the Guarantee Clause, which was the basis of our suit. He also indicated that, if he found that the Guarantee Clause was violated, he had the power to enjoin the enforcement of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling mandating same-sex marriage.

Judge Tauro indicated that he will make a ruling on this case tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning. No matter which side wins in the district court, there will be an immediate appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Mathew Staver stated, "It is encouraging that Judge Tauro is giving our Guarantee Clause argument careful consideration." Staver concluded, "We are pleased that the judge recognized that under the Clause, a federal court has the authority to ensure that separation of powers as provided for in the Massachusetts Constitution is respected."

More information, including documents filed by Liberty Counsel, is available at http://www.lc.org/news

Liberty Counsel, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a national public interest law firm dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. On the campus of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty Counsel’s Center for Constitutional Litigation and Policy trains attorneys, law students, policy-makers, legislators, clergy and world leaders in constitutional principles and government policies.