National Organization for Marriage Sharply Criticizes Nevada's Governor and Attorney General for Misreading Court Precedents and Abandoning Marriage, Voters and Their Constitutional Duties


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)

"In the end, this is simply an act of cowardice, with these officials bending to the false narrative of 'inevitability' projected by the radicals determined to impose marriage redefinition nationwide." — Brian Brown, NOM president —


Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today called the decision by the state of Nevada's executives to withdraw their defense of the state's marriage laws "poor legal reasoning" and "a betrayal" of their sworn duty to voters. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto issued her opinion in a motion filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case challenging Nevada's voter-passed marriage amendment which became law in 2002. Governor Brian Sandoval then said in an email to The Associated Press that he agreed with Masto's interpretation.

"This is an erroneous and shameful decision — it's that simple," said Brian Brown, NOM President. "In addition to showing very poor legal reasoning, this move reveals cowardice and an embarrassing lack of integrity on the part of Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Masto. Rather than stand up for state voters who overwhelmingly adopted Nevada's marriage amendment against the bullying lobby trying to push marriage redefinition through the courts, Sandoval and Masto have turned their backs on the voters and betrayed their own sworn oaths of office."

Brown explained that the determination by Nevada's officials not to defend the law is based on a misreading of 9th Circuit legal precedent.

"The determination is based on an earlier decision by a single 9th Circuit judge that applied a heightened level of legal scrutiny in a case involving jury selection of homosexuals," Brown said. "It isn't even clear that the earlier decision bears in any way on the current case challenging Nevada's marriage amendment. Even if it did there would be a case to be made that the earlier decision was itself erroneous, because it disregarded other binding precedent from the same Circuit. Beyond that, however, is the fact that even if the decision's application of strict scrutiny did hold here, Nevada would still have an eminently winnable case before them! Thus, it is absurd that Nevada's leaders would abandon this legal battle to defend the voter's decision to protect marriage when they have more than ample reason to continue fighting and force a test of the issue before the full bench of the 9th Circuit."

"In the end," Brown concluded, "this is simply an act of cowardice, with these officials bending to the false narrative of 'inevitability' projected by the radicals determined to impose marriage redefinition nationwide. The leaders in Nevada should have taken a cue from the example provided by officials in Utah and other states who respect the decision of voters to define marriage as one man and one woman, and are persevering to defend marriage in litigation without bowing to political pressures."


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New ยง 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

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