Marriage Before the Supreme Court

The oral arguments are over and now marriage is before the Supreme Court of the United States, in two separate but related cases that will make a difference in the direction of marriage in America. Perry v. Hollingsworth, the California Proposition 8 challenge to voters' ability to define marriage for their state, and Windsor v. U.S., the New York same-sex union case that is challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act regarding a federal definition of marriage, will both likely have profound effects on the future direction of marriage. You can listen to the oral arguments here.

I have joined several law professors in an amicus brief to the High Court in Perry on behalf of four different organizations of black pastors and faith based groups, asking the Court to uphold California's definition of marriage. You can view that here. And I have also joined several law professors in another brief in Windsor and you can view that here. These cases could potentially redefine marriage for every state, regardless of current state law or state constitutional provisions. Several briefs have been filed in the Windsor case. See the Jurist.org article at http://jurist.org/paperchase/2013/02/three-briefs-filed-with-supreme-court-in-case-challenging-doma.php

Though the federal government is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in Perry, the Proposition 8 case, the Obama administration filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. In its brief, the U.S. Department of Justice asked the court to strike down California's marriage law as unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You can find that brief here.

Last month the Illinois Senate approved same sex marriage, noting that the state will recognize same sex marriage and afford it full faith and credit regardless of the federal rule in DOMA. See it at http://jurist.org/paperchase/2013/02/illinois-senate-approves-same-sex-marriage-bill.php.

The United Kingdom has also set out a plan for "equal marriage," outlining a proposal for marriage to be available to any parties who wish to enter into such a union. Read more about that at http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/9585.aspx . To read the text of the proposed legislation read here. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2012-2013/0126/cbill_2012-20130126_en_6.htm#sch6-pt2 In France citizens are protesting the French president's plan to legalize same sex marriage to allow couples to adopt and conceive children, stating that they "have nothing against different ways of living, but we think a child must grow up with a mother and a father." Meanwhile, an individual has filed a lawsuit to be married to his donkey: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/does-the-law-love-an-ass/ .

New directions for marriage are ahead; the question is whether they will foster family restoration, or family deconstruction.

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