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Religious Tolerance logo

Briefs submitted in the Obergefell v. Hodges case before the
U.S. Supreme Court involving appeals of 4 same-sex marriage
cases, from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.

Part 18: 2015-APR:
Two more briefs opposing same-sex marriage:
One by the 2012 Republican National Convention
Committee on the Platform
, and a joint
brief by two California groups.
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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.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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same-sex marriage symbol Early 2015-APR: Description of two more briefs opposing marriage equality that have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court : 1

  • Leaders of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on the Platform, filed their own amicus curiae, along with "others supporting respondents." They are Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), James Bopp, Jr., and Carolyn McLarty. They base their argument that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry on their firmly held beliefs about gender differences.

    They believe that women have a:

    "... socializing effect [on men in marriage.] Marriage helps to focus a man’s energy and aggression to socially desirable ends. providing for and protecting wives and children, making their wives and children feel secure, happy, and loved."

    They view men in a same-sex marriage as being without feelings of responsibility to support their families. They may not even feel an obligation work at all to support their spouse and children.

    They state that:

    “... same-sex marriage does not provide the same benefits as traditional marriage. ... Men tend to be more sexually permissive than women and are more likely to have numerous sexual partners without a woman in the relationship. Women are more likely than men to initiate divorce because of their different emotional makeup. The complementary, tempering effect of the opposite sex is simply not present in same-sex marriages."

    Thus, "... the government has no obligation to recognize or promote same-sex marriage." 1,2

Other points raised in the brief are that:

Most people probably agree with all of these points. Unfortunately, the brief does not go further by investigating how marriage by same-sex couples, and parenting by such couples benefit the spouses, their children, and society in similar ways or in the same ways.

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  • ProtectMarriage.com and the Yes on 8 campaign filed a joint amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to marriage by same-sex couples.

    These two groups had promoted Proposition 8 in California which was narrowly passed by the voters on election day in 2008-NOV. "Prop 8" overturned an earlier decision by the California Supreme Court during May of that year which had legalized same-sex marriage. Between these two dates, about 36,000 Californians had married persons of the same gender. Marriage equality returned once more to California in 2013-JUN as a result of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8 in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger (later renamed Hollingsworth v. Perry). Marriage equality is still the law of the land today.

    The groups' Amicus brief noted that:

    "... marriage is an important issue and people of good will can and do disagree about it. America should be a place where passionate moral disagreements about important issues such as marriage are expressed with respect, thoughtfulness, and civility, and without fear or threats of retaliation – on both sides of the issue." 3

    There are individuals and groups who go further than merely having an opinion on marriage and who attempt to prevent certain groups from being able to marry. In the past, they targeted interracial couples and interfaith couples. Today's victims of choice are same-sex couples.

Those who want to restrict marriage only to opposite-sex couples can find themselves to be targets of anger, hostility, and charges of animus and bigotry. Some of these charges originate from couples being directly discriminated against who desire to obtain the status, benefits and stability of marriage. Other such charges come from persons who may have no desire or interest to enter into a marriage with a member of the same-sex, but who feel passionately about freedom and equal rights. In each case, feelings can get out of hand and result in harassment and even occasional acts of vandalism against those who oppose marriage equality.

Unfortunately, the arguments in this Amicus are seriously weakened by way that the petitioners use the term "traditional marriage -- the voluntary union of one woman and one man. The brief makes statements that are simply not true. One example is:

"... ordinary people risk professional jeopardy and social vilification if they publicly support traditional marriage." 4

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Webmaster's opinion: (bias alert)

The author of this essay has studied both same-sex and opposite-sex marriage extensively and has come upon anyone harassed for their support of the "traditional marriage." Anger, hostility and harassment seem to be always generated in reaction to an individual or group opposing allowing same-sex couples to marry. Anger is never generated because of simple support for opposite-sex marriage. Yet the concept has grown among many religious and social conservatives that one has to support either same-sex marriage or opposite-sex marriage. Yet most people can and do support marriage for everyone -- both same-sex and opposite sex.

The Townhall.com web site has a poll that demonstrates this confusion. 4 They asked their site visitors: "Do you support legalizing gay marriage." They provided two options:

  • No, I support traditional marriage. This option showed a woman and a man who had apparently just married.

  • Yes, it's time to redefine marriage. This option was accompanied by a LGBT rainbow flag.

The two options were defined as "either-or." There was no "both-and" option for people who support both marriages of same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

In reality, everyone supports marriage for opposite-sex couples. The only real options are attaining marriage equality, or restrict marriage only to opposite-sex couples.

Recent polls show that slightly over 60% of U.S. adults favor redefining marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry. We have never seen a poll of U.S. adults asking whether they approve of allowing opposite-sex couples to marry. However, I suspect the result would be close to 100%.

Thus, for couples who are above a certain age and who are not too closely related genetically, the only two opinions are:

  • To support marriage equality and allow both traditional marriage and same-sex marriage, or

  • To restrict marriage to only opposite-sex couples.

Another negative aspect to this brief is that it does not compare the effects of legalizing same-sex marriage now, compared to waiting to do it in the future.

The present situation is untenable. Thirty-seven states, the district of Columbia and some sections of Missouri routinely issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while 13 states and five territories deny them licenses. Over 70% of Americans live in political jurisdictions where all couples can marry. Slightly under 30% live where only opposite-sex couples can marry.

The fundamental rights of an American citizen, including the right to marry, should not depend upon their location in the country.

The level of frustration felt by civil libertarians and same-sex couples denied licenses will probably grow. This would increase the level of harassment and vandalism. National support for same-sex marriage has risen from about 28% during 1996 to over 60% today. There are no indications that it will reverse or even slow down in the future.

If the U.S. Supreme Court were to ban all marriages for same-sex couples of freeze them at the current level then the end result would probably be a higher level of harassment and even vandalism over a longer time interval. There appears to be an advantage to attaining marriage equality for all of the U.S. quickly.

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This topic continues in the next essay with a description of March
for Marriage
sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. 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/
  2. "Leaders of the 2012 Republican Natl Convention Committee Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
  3. "ProtectMarriage.com et al Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
  4. "Do you support legalizing gay marriage," Townhall, at: http://pages.townhall.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage> same-sex marriage sub-menu > Kentucky > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Kentucky > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Michigan > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Michigan > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Ohio > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Ohio > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Tennessee > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage >same-sex marriage sub-menu > Tennessee > Supreme Court >here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > > Supreme Court > here

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-APR-24
Latest update: 2015-APR-28
Author: B.A. Robinson
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