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



After same-sex marriage, then what?

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March 29 marked the first anniversary of the legal same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Look around, say the twitterati – no plagues of locusts and frogs have blighted the land; no fire and brimstone have rained down upon Westminster; no earthquake has swallowed up Sir Elton. All is well.

Well, actually not.

In an article in The Conversation, an academic at the University of Kent, Dr Mike Thomas, reported on how happy gay couples in the UK, the United States and Canada feel after tying the knot. He found that most of them welcomed the benefits that legal recognition of their relationship gave them.

But this was not matched by social recognition. Even though the majesty of the law shone upon them, relatives often shunned them and snubbed them.

For many couples, the wedding or civil partnership ceremony was a more bittersweet occasion, bringing… click here to read whole article and make comments



Who will apologise to the ‘Motherless Generation’?

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UPDATE: This article was submitted just hours before a television advertisement opposing same-sex marriage (below) was to be broadcast across Australia on the Channel 9 and WIN network. At the very last moment, Channel 9 cancelled the advertisement in all major cities, although it still ran on WIN. No explanation has been given by Channel 9. Those looking for evidence that legalized same-sex marriage will have a chilling effect on public debate in Australia need look no further. 

AMF - 'Who will apologise to the Motherless Generation' from David van Gend on Vimeo.   

Last week the anniversary of an old injustice and the prospect of a new injustice came together and challenged us. March 21 was the second anniversary of the National Apology for Forced Adoption. In 2013 our then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, spoke movingly to the nation about "the most primal and… click here to read whole article and make comments



Why we love Miscontraceptions, the film

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Having produced several videos about natural family planning (NFP) and fertility awareness methods (FAM), I know how challenging it can be to come up with original angles, fresh dialogues, authentic couple conversations and disagreements, and narratives that can captivate the target audience. That’s exactly what Miscontraceptions, Cassie Moriarty’s first documentary, accomplishes.

Miscontraceptions is bringing fertility awareness education to the millennial generation (which is who needs it right?). It is fresh, personal, engaging and fun. It tackles misconceptions head-on, brings in various perspectives in an eloquent and charming way, keeps the suspense going, and all the while educates and convinces.


Here are four of the things we especially liked about it:

It starts with the depiction of a real and likely situation: Cassie is complaining about the Pill’s side effects. Her boyfriend, Kyle, is… click here to read whole article and make comments



British childcare worker case tests freedom of expression

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Are people free to express their views on homosexuality at their workplace? That is one of the key questions to be answered in the era of legal bans on sexual discrimination and legal green lights for same-sex marriage. Employer, court and tribunal decisions seem to be trending negative.

We have discussed several American examples on this blog, but a case in the UK Employment Tribunal has to factor in European Union laws, rights and a recent declaration from the Council of Europe that acknowledges discrimination against Christians in the UK.

Nursery school worker Sarah Mbuyi was sacked 14 months ago after a friendly chat with a lesbian colleague took a turn for the worse. She happened to say “Praise God” when the other woman said she had recovered from an accident.

Ms A (my designation -- she has name suppression) asked whether Mbuyi was a “born again” type of Christian. In… 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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