Marriage opponents file opening briefs in DOMA and Prop 8 Supreme Court cases

This week, opponents of the freedom to marry and supporters of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act filed their opening briefs in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States, the two marriage cases that will be heard by the Supreme Court in March 2013. Hollingsworth v. Perry is the legal challenge to California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment passed in 2008 that stripped loving and committed couples of the freedom to marry. Windsor v. United States is a legal challenge to DOMA, which prohibits federal respect for lawful marriages between same-sex couples. 

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), representing the House Republicans who are defending the anti-gay DOMA, filed their brief on Tuesday, January 22. Their filing relies heavily on outdated arguments about procreation and children, asserting that marriage is a mechanism for preventing opposite-sex couples from harming society with pregnancies outside of marriage. The filing ignores years of research and opinion from the leading experts on marriage and families. Marriage, as we know, is about love and commitment, a way for two adults to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families. Experts across the country have refuted BLAG's insinuations time and again that children raised by same-sex couples are less stable than children raised by different-sex couples: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and many other esteemed experts have conducted years of research finding that children raised by gay parents are not markedly different from children raised by parents in different-sex marriages. Read more about BLAG's first brief HERE

The proponents of Proposition 8 also filed their opening brief on Tuesday, January 22. The brief attempts to distinguish Hollingswoth v. Perry from previous cases involving the LGBT community and marriage, pointing to California's history of different-sex marriages and explaining that there is no reason to deviate from that past. This argument, of course, ignores the dozens of jurisdictions around the world where the freedom to marry has been extended to same-sex couples, and where communities have found that the freedom to marry strengthens and diversifies society like never before. Read more about the Prop 8 proponents' first brief HERE.  

Briefs from the Department of Justice, Edith Windsor, and the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case are expected by the end of February, when they will be given the opportunity to respond and make the case for why marriage matters. Oral arguments in the Prop 8 case will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 26, and oral arguments will be heard in the DOMA case on March 27. 

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