As we relayed yesterday, Ryan Anderson is upbeat about the opening day of the Supreme Court hearings on whether the Constitution protects homosexual people to the extent that they should be able to marry. Here’s a bit more on that from his report at Public Discourse:
This serious consideration of the harms of marriage redefinition stands in stark contrast to outrageous lower court rulings that had declared no rational basis to state marriage laws defining marriage as it always had been in America: a union of husband and wife.
One of the more startling portions of oral arguments today at the Supreme Court was the willingness of the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, to admit that religious schools that affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman may lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if marriage is redefined.
Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether a religious school that believed marriage was the union of husband and wife would lose their non-profit tax status.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had to shut down their business after clients withdrew patronage following a formal complaint by the lesbian couple. Their income has fallen by half and they say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven.
The proposed fine will now go to state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who can either accept it or adjust the amount in issuing a final order, which is expected to arrive this summer, reports the Daily Signal. The Kleins have signaled they plan to appeal the judge’s ruling.
The cornerstone of the same-sex marriage debate is the question of whether or not sexual orientation is a fixed and immutable characteristic. If it is, there is some justification for arguing that homosexuality is a “suspect class” which should be granted “extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process”.
But is it?
Professor Paul McHugh, a distinguished psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins University, addresses this issue in an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court as background for its deliberations on same-sex marriage. He concludes that the current state of scientific knowledge indicates that sexual orientation is neither a clearly definable (discrete) category or a fixed and immutable characteristic, like race and gender.
Read the complete amicus brief at this link. Below are some excerpts. The questions have been added by MercatorNet.
The United States is a large and powerful country, but it is only one of the 193 member states of the United Nations and represents only 4.4 percent of the world’s population. Surely it makes sense to ask how courts in other jurisdictions are handling same-sex marriage.
An amicus brief submitted to the US Supreme Court from the Marriage and Family Law Research Project, a research center at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, surveys what LGBT-friendly courts have said. It turns out that there is no global consensus.
The questions have been added by MercatorNet. For the full text, follow this link.
Who cares what foreign courts have to say? It’s irrelevant to American law.
Next Tuesday, April 28, oral arguments begin in Obergefell v. Hodges, a Supreme Court case which may decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the United States. Apart from hearing the parties in the cases (four are actually being considered), the nine justices on the Court can also consider briefs written by “friends of the court”, or amici curiae. More than a hundred of these have been filed, from supporters and opponents ranging from the American Psychological Association to “Mike Huckabee Policy Solutions”.
The Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution headed by Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, in collaboration with Sharee Langenstein, an Illinois attorney, has submitted an Amicus brief to the US Supreme Court about same-sex marriage. Here is a selection from the brief.
What is the public purpose of marriage?
“Marriage is society’s primary institutional arrangement that defines parenthood. Marriage attaches mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she bears during the life of their union. These two people are the legally recognized parents of this child, and no one else is.”
Is fighting for traditional marriage and against same-sex marriage worthwhile? Ryan T. Anderson, a 33-year-old fellow at the Heritage Foundation, thinks so and is crisscrossing the US to persuade people that they are not irrational or homophobic if they think that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman.
The telegenic non-stop talker has won the respect of his opponents with his articulate arguments and courtesy. He is equally at ease debating at Harvard Law School or on talk-back radio. “He’s brought a level of sophistication and professionalism to [pro-marriage] communications,” says Fred Sainz, of the pro-gay rights Human Rights Campaign. “He’s a smart operative and a good hire for Heritage — but at the end of the…
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‘Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms’, a new book by Professor Susan Golombok from Cambridge University, has recently received a great deal of media publicity in the UK. It brings together 35 years of research on parenting and child development in ‘new family forms’ including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice and families created by assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation and surrogacy.
Golombok’s blog on the research challenges ‘the supremacy of the traditional family’, on the basis that the quality of family relationships is more influential for children than the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents.…
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Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to email@example.com