California Episcopalians sign friends of the court brief in Prop 8 appeal

Posted on October 26, 2010

On Monday night, October 25, an amici curiae brief was filed with the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger (a challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8), that was signed by the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus and the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Episcopal bishops of California and Los Angeles respectively; and from the Diocese of California 56 clergy and lay leaders; seven congregations; and Oasis, the diocesan ministry for the LGBT community. Diocesan Chancellor Christopher Hayes worked closely with the brief authors.

The court filing follows official action by the Episcopal Church's General Convention in 2006 resolving to "oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriages or civil unions," and again in 2009 authorizing "bishops, particularly in those dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, [to] provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church."
Following is text from the “Request for Leave.”

Amici curiae acknowledge that people of faith are by no means of one mind concerning recognition of same-sex marriages as a religious rite. Yet people of faith should be able to unite in recognizing full civic and legal equality of all Californians when it comes to exercising fundamental rights – including the right to marry.

Amici curiae firmly believe that no place of worship should be forced to conduct a wedding that is contrary to its beliefs or discipline. The liturgical limitations of those that do not recognize same-sex marriage as a religious rite, however, should not be imposed by law to bar other faith traditions from recognizing, and their clergy from officiating over, the marriages of same-sex couples. And no California couples, whatever their faith may be, should be deprived of the right to civil marriage as a fundamental civil right, let alone be deprived of equal protection of the laws.”


Download the amicus curiae motion with appendix.

Download the amicus curiae brief.