Civil and Human Rights

As Marriage Equality Case Goes Back To Ninth Circuit, New Study Shows Prop. 8 Violates Equal Protection Clause

Washington, DC — On news today that the California Supreme Court has answered questions certified to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit related to the standing of the proponents of Proposition 8 to maintain an appeal from the District Court’s ruling that Prop. 8 violates the constitutional rights of gay men and lesbians by denying them the right to marry, Constitutional Accountability Center issued the following statement:

“With the California Supreme Court ruling today, it appears likely that the Ninth Circuit will proceed to consider whether the District Court correctly held that it is unconstitutional for a state to deny gay men and lesbians the right to marry,” said CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra. “As we have shown in our brief filed in the Perry case, and supported by a new study of the text and history of the Equal Protection Clause released just yesterday — Perfecting the Declaration — the District Court’s ruling striking down Prop. 8 was undeniably correct.”

David Gans, Director of CAC’s Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program and author of the study, added, “In the Equal Protection Clause, ‘We the People’ perfected the Declaration of Independence by writing into the Constitution’s text that all ‘person[s]’ are equal, not just that ‘all men’ are created equal. The text and history chronicled in our new study supports the simple, but profoundly important, principle that the Constitution demands equality for every American. There can be no other conclusion from that text and history but that Prop 8 violates the right of gay men and lesbians to the equal protection of the laws.”


CAC’s David Gans, Perfecting the Declaration: The Text and History of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, November 2011

CAC amicus curiae brief filed in the Ninth Circuit in Perry v. Brown, urging the court to affirm the District Court’s ruling striking down Prop 8


Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.