Briefs submitted in the Obergefell v. Hodges case before the
Supreme Court involving appeals of 4 same-sex marriage
from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.
Part 15: 2015-APR:
Briefs opposing marriage equality which raise
of massive increase in U.S. abortion rates,
& precipitous drops in marriage and birth rates,
same-sex couples are allowed to marry.
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
2015-APR-03: Liberty Counsel® filed a brief to the Supreme Court that opposes marriage equality:
Liberty Counsel (a.k.a. Liberty Council) is:
"... an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. With offices in California, Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and an outreach in Israel, Liberty Counsel has hundreds of advocates around the world." 1
Recently, they have been concentrating on cases that preserve the religious freedom of religious conservatives to discriminate against the LGBT community, reduce women's access to abortion, and support state laws and constitutional amendments that prohibit marriage by same-sex couples.
On APR-03, they issued a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to marriage equality. It says, in part:
"For the past 67 years, scholars, lawyers and judges have undertaken fundamental societal transformation by embracing Alfred Kinsey's statistically and scientifically fraudulent 'data' derived from serial child rapists, sex offenders, prisoners, prostitutes, pedophiles and pederasts. Now these same change agents, still covering up the fraudulent nature of the Kinsey 'data,' want this Court to utilize it to demolish the cornerstone of society, natural marriage."
Their brief seems to assume that no meaningful research has been done into human sexuality in the past six or seven decades.
In common with many other conservative religious groups, they refer to marriage by an opposite-sex couple as "natural marriage," This implies that the marriage by a same-sex couple is "unnatural." In reality, marriage to a person of the opposite gender is natural to the heterosexual community and many bisexuals, even as marriage to a person of the same gender is equally natural to the lesbian and gay community and to many bisexuals.
Their brief continues:
"Changing millennia of history must always be approached with trepidation. In this case, the change must be rejected outright not only because it is seeking to redefine something which cannot be redefined, but also because the proposed change is grounded in fraudulent 'research' based on skewed demographics and the sexual abuse of hundreds of infants and children. ..."
The brief's suggestion that Kinsey's studies generated "skewed demographics" appears to be false. He had estimated that 10% of the adult population is homosexual -- a number that was picked up and promoted by many LGBT groups. Recent estimates are that about 10% of the adult population experience sexual attraction to members of the same sex. About 5% are gay or lesbian and have an exclusive attraction to the same sex; another 5% have a bisexual orientation and are attracted to both men and women, although not necessarily to the same degree.
The brief pleads that the Supreme Court not:
"... erase millennia of human history and dismantle the granite cornerstone of society in favor of an experimental construct that is barely a decade old. ... This case presents the Court with the opportunity to affirm and preserve the unique, comprehensive union of a man and a woman, the foundational social institution upon which society was built and the future of the nation depends."
In the past, the Supreme Court has upheld marriage as a foundational social institution that is necessarily defined as the union of one man and one woman:
- Marriage is 'fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.' Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942).
- 'An institution in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.' Maynard v. Hill, 125 U. S. 190 (1888).
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, wrote in the press release:
'Older than the Constitution and the laws of any nation, marriage is not a creation of any government, but it is an obvious relationship between one man and one woman. Marriage is a natural bond that society or religion can only ‘solemnize"
The news release concludes:
"Liberty Counsel is calling Christians to unite in fasting and prayer for three days before Supreme Court hears the case on April 23, 24, and 25." 2
Their final sentence is ambiguous. The high court heard the case on APR-28. Liberty Counsel is asking Christians -- but not necessarily followers of other religions or the religiously unaffiliated -- to pray during APR-23 to 25. Their hope is that God will influence the beliefs of the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court so that they will rule that:
- Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have no constitutional right to marry persons of the same sex, and that
- States that do not allow same-sex couples to marry do not have to recognize legal same-sex marriages legally solemnized elsewhere.
2015-APR-17: Think Progress published an article titled: "Ten Novel, Absurd, And Irrelevant Arguments ... Against Marriage Equality:"
Zack Ford, writing for Think Progress, analyzed a number of briefs that have been submitted this month to the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to marriage equality. 2
Two recurrent themes are:
- Children are harmed if they are raised by parents of the same sex. Ford notes that "all valid research points to the opposite conclusion."
- Marriage is a states rights issue, not a human rights issue. This flies in the face of previous redefinitions of marriage including:
- After the civil war, slaves were freed in all of the states that had permitted human slavery, and allowed for the first time the ex-slaves personal freedom to marry.
- In the early 20th century, those states that had prohibited profoundly deaf couples from marrying repealed their restrictive laws so that such couples had the personal freedom to marry.
- In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia which allowed interracial couples the personal freedom to marry throughout the U.S.
- Numerous court decisions by state and federal courts in the previous 22 months have concluded that however states define eligibility for marriage, their laws must not violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These clauses require federal, state and local governments to treat people -- and by extension couples -- equally.
He noted "ten novel, absurd, and irrelevant arguments" raised by persons and organizations in recent briefs to the high court, all of which oppose allowing marriage by same-sex couples. The first two are:
- Allowing same-sex couples to marry would cause fewer opposite-sex couples to marry: A brief by "100 Scholars of Marriage" asserts that:
"The forced redefinition [of marriage] will undermine important social norms — like the value of biological connections between parents and children — that arise from the man-woman understanding; that typically guide the procreative and parenting behavior of heterosexuals; and that are highly beneficial to their children." 4
This is the often raised suggestion that if a loving, committed opposite-sex couple hears that a similar couple two blocks away who are of the same sex and are getting married, that the opposite-sex couple might decide to remain single.
Ford notes that:
" This argument is supported by studies that actually reached the opposite conclusion. For example, a study from the Netherlands found, 'Neither the legalization of same-sex marriage nor the introduction of registered partnership have had significant negative effects on the Dutch different-sex marriage rate in the aggregate.' The brief also suggests that states that have legalized same-sex marriage had declining marriage rates, but in almost every case, those states actually saw spikes in marriage (thanks to equality) then stabilized to their previous rates."
- Children of same-sex couples fare worse if their parents marry: This was the conclusion in a brief by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) -- a very small anti-LGBT group often confused with the much larger American Academy of Pediatricians. ACPeds quoted a study by Fr. Donald Paul Sullins, a Roman Catholic priest. The ACPeds brief states:
"Comparing the married and unmarried same-sex parents with their opposite-sex counterparts, ... Sullins found that, while outcomes for children with opposite-sex parents improved if their parents were married, outcomes for children with same-sex parents were notably worse if their parents were married." 5
This sounds counter-intuitive. One would expect that if a same-sex couple marries, their children would share in the increased status that the family has in the community, as well as the increased benefits, protections, stability, for and of the family, etc. that are associated with marriage. However, one reason why this strange conclusion was reached may have been that, according to Ford:
"... the brief admits that the specific data from which Sullins drew that inquiry was from 1995, long before any same-sex family had access to the legal protections and benefits of marriage."
The first political jurisdiction to allow same-sex couples to marry was the Netherlands in 2001. The first state in the U.S. to allow same-sex couples to marry was Massachusetts in 2004. These were six and nine years after the Fr. Sullins' data was collected.
This topic continues in the next essay with a description
of three more
briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Liberty Counsel's home page is at: http://www.lc.org/
- "Press Release: 'Supreme Court Marriage Brief Addresses Kinsey Fraud,' Liberty Counsel, 2015-APR-03, at: http://www.lc.org/
- Zack Ford, "Ten Novel, Absurd, And Irrelevant Arguments Made In Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality," Think Progress, 2015-APR-17, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
- "100 Scholars of Marriage Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
- "American College of Pediatricians et al Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-APR-24
Latest update: 2015-APR-24
Author: B.A. Robinson