Dozens of amicus briefs urge the U.S. Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination
March 06, 2015
Today, March 6, dozens of amici briefs were filed to the United States Supreme Court urging the Justices to rule in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide. The briefs underscore how denying the freedom to marry - and the rights, benefits and dignity that marriage brings - hurts same-sex couples and their families, and the nation. The briefs call for national resolution, and for marriage discrimination to be overturned nationwide.
The amici briefs were filed for the cases from four states before the United States Supreme Court regarding the freedom to marry. The cases are Obergefell v. Hodges from Ohio, Tanco v. Haslam from Tennessee, DeBoer v. Snyder from Michigan, and Bourke v. Beshear from Kentucky. The states' response briefs are due March 17, and final reply briefs are due April 17. Click here to read more about the plaintiffs' briefs, filed February 27.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, stressed the importance of these briefs today:
The stunning breadth and depth of the friend-of-the-court briefs submitted today, with signers from many of America’s leading businesses, clergy, mayors, and others, attest to the sweeping cross-section of the American majority in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The sheer numbers, diversity, and eminence of the various signers show that the freedom to marry is a truly American value, not confined by political affiliation or geography. America is ready for the Supreme Court to affirm the freedom to marry nationwide, leaving no state and no family behind.
Freedom to Marry is proud to have been a leader in enlisting prominent signers for several of the amicus briefs, dedicating its organizing team to help secure strong supporters on the briefs. Especially noteworthy signers enlisted by Freedom to Marry include the reigning Super Bowl World Champion New England Patriots; hundreds of leading clergy from all 50 states; mayors of the five largest cities in the U.S, along with the U.S Conference of Mayors; chiefs of police from Los Angeles, Nashville, and Columbus; and GOP leaders including retired U.S. Senators John Danforth and Alan Simpson, and various state-elected members of the Republican Party.
Here are several highlights from the dozens of briefs filed today:
- Clergy and Faith Leaders: The Faith Brief was signed by nearly 2,000 faith leaders from all 50 states, and argues that the freedom to marry will affirm religious liberty in the United States.
- Employers, Businesses and Organizations: The Business Brief was signed by almost 400 leading American businesses, and outlines how the patchwork marriage laws across the country add an economic and administrative burden on the companies as they try to accommodate their employees.
- Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders, and Organizations: The First Responders Brief was signed by over 200 workers who put their lives on the line every day for their country. The brief makes the case that extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples protects First Responders and their families through equal rights in life and equal access to benefits for the families of the fallen.
- Conservative Officials: Hundreds of conservative leaders signed onto the Conservatives Brief arguing that freedom to marry is a conservative value, and that marriage is strengthened, and its value to society and to individual families and couples is promoted, by providing access to civil marriage for all American couples.
- Mayors: The Mayors Brief was signed by 226 mayors, as well as 40 cities from across the country. The brief was signed by Mayors for the Freedom to Marry three years after its launch, and explains how the freedom to marry has positively affected the cities in which it is law.
- Freedom to Marry's Brief: Freedom to Marry's Brief was filed with former U.S. Solicitor General Walter Dellinger of O’Melveny & Myers as counsel of record. The brief argues that sexual orientation discrimination should be presumed unconstitutional, even in the absence of explicit judicial heightened scrutiny, and that because there is no legitimate, evidence-based justification for marriage discrimination, the Supreme Court should affirm the freedom to marry throughout the land.
These briefs, just some of the many filed today in support of marriage between same-sex couples, underscore the importance of a national resolution in favor of the freedom to marry. The briefs make clear how a wide cross-section of the United States of America are negatively affected by same-sex couples being denied the freedom to marry, and how bringing the freedom to marry to the nation once and for all would benefit the entire country.