Gay Marriage

Have You Filed Your Gay Marriage Amicus Brief Yet?

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments April 28.


"We'll try to squeeze that argument in down toward the bottom, okay?"
Credit: maxintosh / photo on flickr

The Supreme Court announced today it has scheduled oral arguments for April 28 for the four consolidated cases it will hear about state-level bans on same-sex marriage recognition. The justice will tackle the question of whether bans on gay marriage recognition violate the 14th Amendment.

So now comes the filing of briefs from folks taking sides and wanting to influence the court's decision either way. Probably getting the most attention, because of what it signals to the Republican Party as a new national election cycle revs up, are the conservatives who are encouraging the Supreme Court to make gay marriage recognition the law of the land. This Friday, a bunch of Republicans will be filing an amicus brief in support of striking down the bans. Jennifer Rubin notes some of the participants over at The Washington Post:

In the brief, the signatories argue that they "have concluded 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—heterosexual or gay or lesbian alike. In particular, civil marriage provides stability for the children of same-sex couples, the value of which cannot be overestimated. In light of these conclusions, amici believe that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits States from denying same-sex couples the legal rights and responsibilities that flow from the institution of civil marriage." They argue that their belief in judicial restraint nevertheless is informed by their understanding that our "constitutional tradition empowers and requires the judiciary to protect our most cherished liberties against overreaching by the government, including overreach through an act of legislature or electorate. That principle, no less than our commitment to democratic self-government, is necessary to individual freedom and limited government."

Also signing on to the brief is David Koch, which has caused the typical confusion in certain progressive and gay media circles even though he has supported gay marriage for quite a while (Disclosure: Koch sits on the Board of Trustees for the Reason Foundation, which publishes this site).

This is not the first time a group of Republicans organized to submit a pro-gay-marriage brief to the Supreme Court. In 2013 a bunch of conservatives submitted a brief calling for the Supreme Court to overturn California's Proposition 8 (They won on a technicality; the court ruled the proposition's proponents didn't have standing to defend it and kicked it back to the state, which had already struck it down as unconstitutional).

The Human Rights Campaign decided to treat an amicus brief like a petition. They created a "people's brief" and have collected more than 200,000 signatures. They will be submitting it to the court tomorrow. BuzzFeed has some more on the pro-gay-marriage briefs here. (UPDATE: As I was writing this, Reuters reported 379 businesses will be filing their own brief today in support of same-sex marriage recognition.)

Folks on both sides had also already filed amicus briefs when these cases were still at the district level. Alliance Defending Freedom, supporters of the one-man-one-woman marriage model, had already filed briefs on behalf similarly minded legislators and activist groups for some of the cases the Supreme Court will be hearing.

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  1. Barney’s, huh? He’s aiming high.

    1. Purple is his color.

  2. Also signing on to the brief is David Koch, which has caused the typical confusion in certain progressive and gay media circles even though he has supported gay marriage for quite a while

    One acquaintance snarked about stopped clocks. Why am I not surprised that the concept of ideological consistency is completely lost on progs?

    1. It’s like trying to explain color to a creature that can only see through a kaleidoscope.

  3. When did Buzzfeed become a news source?

    “17 shocking pro-gay amicus briefs you didn’t know existed”
    “43 ways to know you are from team blue”
    “985 ways a Koch is buying the supreme court”

  4. We have decided that the only people affected by Gay Marriage are the people in the marriage itself, therefore, no one else has standing to oppose Gay Marriage.

    Also, we’re going to apply this logic to drug use, abortion, and immigration.

    1. We have decided that the only people affected by Gay Marriage are the people in the marriage itself, therefore, no one else has standing to oppose Gay Marriage.

      We have decided that the Commerce Clause cannot be applied to both personal and financial liberties consistently in a manner upholding of a general reading of the 14th Am while simultaneously observing the spirit and letter of the constitution as a whole. So, congress must be compelled to either dramatically roll back the tax code (as well as government services offered), massively overhaul portions of the constitution where equality is considered in a legally ideological sense to delineate when it is ideological and when it is practical as well as whether it applies socially, financially, or both, or ultimately scrap the whole thing and declare itself no longer bound by the constitution and/or will of any/all people. Our recommendation is the former.

      But silly me, I’m probably just opposed to gay marriage everywhere whether the people there like it or not.

  5. The justice will tackle the question of whether bans on gay marriage recognition violate the 14th Amendment.

    The authors of the 14th Amendment had no comment, but spinning sounds could be heard emerging from their graves.

    Seriously, it’s one thing to be in favor of gay marriage, but I’m not happy with attempts to retroactively rewrite the Constitution to support it.

    1. Then why doesn’t a ban on polygamy also violate the 14th amendment?

      1. It does.

        1. One could make the argument that the 14th protects the right to incest, bestiality, and pretty much anything. I’m sure such arguments are coming. And, amusing, from the same people who will argue that the 1st doesn’t protect the right of Citizens United to produce election material, and that the 2nd doesn’t protect the right to own a gun.

  6. “The signer of this amicus brief is a prominent general who fought the British in Canada and helped defeat them at the battle of Saratoga. As a prominent Patriot, he has particular credibility on the issue of American independence. He now asserts that American independence would be a bad idea, and Americans would be better off under the benevolent role of George III.”

    1. benovolent *rule*

    2. If the SSM crowd wasn’t so abysmally ignorant, they’d realize how much I just insulted their allies.

  7. I am heartily sick of the whole SSM thang. Look if you want to form a property sharing contract with your fuck buddy, go for it, just leave the rest of us out of it,

    1. you dont know how long ago i got sick of listening to heteros and all their relationship problems, including the fact that 50% of all their marriages end in divorce.

      u cant turn on the tv, watch a movie, listen to a song, read a book, walk down the street, work with other people, talk to your neighbors, stand at a check out line, pay attention to politics with out having to listen to all the misery heteros have in their relationships.

      do they even like each other?

      why do all the guys and girls separate by sex into two different groups at every social event, family gathering, etc…?

      i dont think hetero men like spending time with hetero fems unless it is to hump them or to co-parent. at least gays like each others company!!!

  8. damn…..the Repubs must be REAL DESPERATE to get more support for their conservative Christian, Theocratic, Zionist political party.!!!

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  10. Does the Fourteenth Amendment text require a state to license a publicly affirmed monogamous relationship between any two people? Yes; Because the 14th forbids denying any person the equal protection of laws. Laws allowing civil recognition of affirmed monogamous relationships may no longer be gender specific.

    Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a publicly affirmed monogamous relationship between two people of the same sex when their publicly affirmed monogamous relationship was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
    Yes; Because no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States or inhibit the rights recognized in any other U.S. state.

    I have not filed my amicus but these facts will be included in the amicus Arkansas will file is support of the Court because the Arkansas law is per se unconstitutional for forcing speech. No words may be universally defined or re-defined by any law and must have context.

    Marriage should not have a gender preference but requiring speech that does or does not is not permissible.

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