Wyoming, nine other states say gay marriage not a fundamental right

2010-09-24T11:50:00Z 2010-09-24T12:09:38Z Wyoming, nine other states say gay marriage not a fundamental rightBy JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming and nine other states will file a legal brief today saying a federal court "exceeded its judicial authority" when it ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires legal marriage to include same-sex couples.

In the amicus brief, which will be filed late this afternoon in the case of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the states disagree with the court's ruling that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right.

The brief also asserts that individual states, not the federal court system, have final say in decisions about whether to allow same-sex marriages.

In August, a federal district judge ruled in the case that California's Proposition 8, a voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage, was illegal on federal constitutional grounds. All previous court cases on gay marriage cited state constitutions.

The case is currently on appeal; both sides have said they expect the case to ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The other states joining the brief are Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

The brief doesn't mean the states will join the lawsuit. Amicus briefs are often submitted in court cases by outside parties to volunteer their opinions on cases.

University of Wyoming law professor John Burman said while it's not unusual for states to band together and weigh in on high-profile court cases, in the past Wyoming has tended to remain on the sidelines in such cases.

See Saturday's Star-Tribune for more on this story.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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