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On Utah’s side: A digest version of amicus briefs filed in same-sex marriage case

First Published      Last Updated Mar 03 2014 02:35 pm

UPDATE: I erroneously listed one group as being on the state's side in this compilation and, after it was brought to my attention on March 3, removed them from the list.

Here are the briefs, in a nutshell, filed to support Utah's defense of Amendment 3. I will be updating these as I read through the remaining briefs. Check the top of the file for the newest filings.

• Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund: "Amicus Eagle Forum respectfully submits that the people's rejection of the [Equal Rights Amendment] — the only constitutional text that arguably might have supported plaintiffs' claims — compels this court to reject plaintiffs' claims. ... Having failed with the ERA, the canards have returned to try to roost in the Fourteenth Amendment. However they might have fared under the ERA, they cannot survive without it."

• D'arcy Winston Straub of Littleton, Colo., potential congressional candidate: Straub said that if elected she plans to sponsor legislation that would prohibit state and federal governments from using the term "marriage" and its "derivative forms" and replace with "civil union" and "united." "The source of the deep divisiveness associated with the issue of same-sex marriage is the government entangling itself with a biblical term that implicates people's religious beliefs.

• The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty: "The lower courts' decision to impose same-sex marriage by judicial degree will automatically trigger civil liability for religious people and institutions, and will expose them to significant government penalties." The court also should "recognize that federal judicial intervention will cut off the democratic process of debate regarding religious liberty protections and same-sex marriage. ... The federal courts can avoid treading on the prerogatives of state sovereigns and the democratic process by allowing the debate time to work its way through American society."

• Jason S. Carroll and Alan J. Hawkins, Brigham Young University: As with the advent of no-fault divorce, changing the "basic definition and social understanding of marriage ... will change the behavior of men and women in marriage and even affect whether they enter marriage in the first place. ... While affording adults greater autonomy and facilitating an easier end to dangerous or unhealthy relationships, [no-fault divorce] also resulted in increased numbers of divorces from low-conflict marriages, created a tangible sense of fragility for all marriages, and left more children to be raised without one of their parents, typically the father, with attendant adverse consequences."

• Liberty Counsel: "At issue in this case is whether the nation is going to continue to honor and respect the transcendent nature of marriage, which John Locke described as 'the First Society.' ... The Supreme Court has removed legislative and judicial barriers placed upon the union of one man and one woman, but has not, because it cannot, change the nature of the union. ... It is because of this natural aspect of a female-male union that, historically, consummation of marriage required sexual intercourse, and not simply any sexual act between the couple — the idea was to join the parts that, together, have the potential to embody a whole."

• Family Research Council: "In FRC's judgment, recognition of same-sex marriages — either by state legislators or by the courts — would be detrimental to the institution of marriage, children and society as a whole."

• David R. Upham, University of Dallas: "Our Constitution, read in light of history, tradition, and well-established precedent, not only permits the states to retain the traditional definition of marriage, but forbids the states to adopt the new definition set forth by the District Court."

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