Georgia attorney general Sam Olens has asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports ABC News.
Olens said in a July 21st filing that Lambda Legal’s lawsuit takes away Georgia residents’ right to define marriage.
In 2004, Georgia voters supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Despite a later challenge, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.
While acknowledging moves in other states to legalize same-sex marriage, Olen’s brief states that “judicially imposing such a result now would merely wrest a potentially unifying popular victory from the hands of supporters and replace it instead with the stale conformity of compulsion.”
Olens also argued that recent decisions striking down constitutional bans in other states should not apply to Georgia because the state's marriage laws do not imply a right to marry someone of the same sex.
According to Beth Littrell, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal and co-counsel on the case, "this is a strong indication the attorney general plans on defending the marriage ban regardless of the precedent lining up against him that the federal Constitution provides to all citizens the right to marry the person they love.”
In April, Art Gardner, one of seven Republicans running for retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss's U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, announced his support for Lambda Legal's suit and asked Olens to not fight the suit.