San Francisco Judge Grants Campaign for California Families Full Party Status To Defend California Marriage Laws

Oct 15, 2004

San Francisco, CA – Today San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer granted full party status to Campaign for California Families to defend the California marriage laws in several consolidated lawsuits brought by same-sex marriage advocates. Campaign for California Families (“CCF”) and its founder, Randy Thomasson, are represented by Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, and Rena Lindevaldsen, Senior Litigation Counsel.

On February 12, 2004, Mayor Newsom and his staff began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, even though California law bans same-sex marriage. On February 13, Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of Mr. Thomasson and CCF, to stop the mayor. Several same-sex couples throughout California filed suit seeking to overturn California’s ban on same-sex “marriage.” Following that suit, the City of San Francisco and several other individual plaintiffs, backed by a same-sex marriage public interest law firm, filed suit seeking to have California’s marriage laws declared unconstitutional. These cases were consolidated into one case along with the CCF suit. On August 12, 2004, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion holding that Mayor Newsom’s issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. After the California Supreme Court ruling, the City of San Francisco and other same-sex couples moved to dismiss CCF from the consolidated marriage cases. Today, Judge Kramer rejected the request to dismiss CCF and granted CCF full party status, which means that CCF will be able to fully litigate and defend the constitutionality of California’s marriage laws against the suits brought by same-sex marriage advocates.

Staver remarked, “We are pleased that Judge Kramer granted full party status to Campaign for California Families to defend California’s marriage laws. Judge Kramer clearly recognizes the benefit of hearing all sides of the marriage debate, not just those arguments advanced by the same-sex couples and the Attorney General’s office.” Staver continued, “Campaign for California Families and Liberty Counsel will vigorously argue that traditional marriage in California should be preserved. Our participation in this case is vitally necessary in light of the California Attorney General’s weak defense of California’s marriage laws.” Staver concluded, “We should not forget that 61.4% of California voters are in favor of traditional marriage. Today’s ruling allows their voices to be heard in this case.”

Being granted full party status will allow Liberty Counsel to fully develop litigation defense strategy, including the presentation of evidence, full briefing and argument.