FRIDAY, 1 MAY 2015

A good day at the Supreme Court

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Justice Anthony Kennedy


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:

Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court were excellent. There were so many good points made about what marriage is and why redefining marriage would cause harms.

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.

Most importantly, it was clear that the click here to read whole article and make comments



A startling admission at same-sex marriage hearing

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The US Supreme Court yesterday began hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case which may decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the United States. 

From Ryan Anderson at The Daily Signal:

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.

The solicitor general answered: “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is it is going to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Meanwhile, outside the court…

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There is a limit to going after people who don't agree with same-sex marriage, according to some of its supporters. This is reassuring...

Last week an Oregon judge fined the former owners of a bakery $135,000 for refusing a request to make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding back in January 2013.

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.

click here to read whole article and make comments



From friends of the Court: the truth about “born that way”

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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.


Homosexuals are a clearly defined group and they need special… click here to read whole article and make comments



From friends of the Court: overseas voices

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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.

While international legal opinion is not determinative of whether a particular US practice is constitutional, [the US Supreme] Court has “acknowledge[d that] the overwhelming… click here to read whole article and make comments



From friends of the Court: forgotten voices

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It may not be a legal argument, but it is immensely persuasive: same-sex marriage is needed because otherwise gays and lesbians cannot find happiness without being false to who they are. An amicus brief to the US Supreme Court by “same-sex attracted men and their wives” confronts this difficult question squarely. The amici are linked to the Voices of Hope project sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints, but their answers are secular, not religious.  

The questions have been added by MercatorNet. For the full text, follow this link

One flippant response is “gays can marry anytime, as long as they marry a woman”. Is that just obnoxious stupidity?

Underlying petitioners’ appeal is this premise: the right of same-sex attracted men and women to marry a member of the opposite sex is meaningless. … Petitioners do not argue that only some,… click here to read whole article and make comments



From friends of the Court: Same-sex marriage leads to fertility decline

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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”.

Below are a few paragraphs from an amicus curiae brief written by two “scholars of fertility and marriage”, Walter Schumm, Professor of Family Studies at Kansas State University (a frequent contributor to MercatorNet) and Jason S. Carroll, Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University.

The questions have been added by MercatorNet.

Why should governments care whether… click here to read whole article and make comments



From friends of the Court: Does marriage have a public purpose?

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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.”

In 2003, following the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, Massachusetts became the first state to require legal recognition… click here to read whole article and make comments



A fresh voice for marriage

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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.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran a surprisingly sympathetic profile of Anderson, a Princeton graduate (he majored in music) with a doctorate in economic policy from Notre Dame.

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… click here to read whole article and make comments



In ‘Modern Families’ mother and father are no longer necessary

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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.

The Independent summarised its findings succinctly : ‘Her findings undermine centuries-held assumptions that the traditional pairing of a man and woman represents the gold standard for bringing up children.’

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.… click here to read whole article and make comments


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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

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