California Court Dismisses Challenge to Traditional Marriage

A legal challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in a California court has been dismissed, closing the last avenue of protest that a same-sex couple has been using since 2004 to try to get homosexual “marriage” declared a right under both federal and state constitutions.

Federal District Court Judge David Carver dismissed the case against the state law Proposition 22 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), despite the May 2008 ruling in California’s Supreme Court that same-sex marriage was constitutional in the state. This particular case – Smelt v. Orange County – was peculiar because, according to a Liberty Counsel press release, the same-sex couple who challenged DOMA “had no legal, same-sex union from any state.”

Mat Staver is dean of Liberty University School of Law and founder of Liberty Counsel, which intervened in the case for pro-family advocates in 2004. He says the good news is that Carver upheld the dismissal of the case by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006 – and another district court judge in 2005 – on the grounds that the couple involved did not have a valid same-sex marriage from another state and that there was no fundamental right to such a relationship in the Constitution.

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