Main | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Conference Of Catholic Bishops Files SCOTUS Briefs On DOMA & Prop 8

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops today filed Supreme Court briefs against the overturn of DOMA and Proposition 8.

From their DOMA brief:
The USCCB brief in United States v. Windsor says that “there is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.” The brief also states that “as defined by courts ‘sexual orientation’ is not a classification that should trigger heightened scrutiny,” such as race or ethnicity would. It added that “civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition—quite the opposite is true. Nor can the treatment of such relationships as marriages be said to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.” USCCB argued that previous Supreme Court decisions “describing marriage as a fundamental right plainly contemplate the union of one man and one woman.” The USCCB also cautioned that a decision invalidating DOMA “would have adverse consequences in other areas of law.”
From their Proposition 8 brief:
“While this Court has held that laws forbidding private, consensual, homosexual conduct between adults lack a rational basis, it does not follow that the government has a constitutional duty to encourage or endorse such conduct. Thus, governments may legitimately decide to further the interests of opposite-sex unions only. Similarly, minimum standards of rationality under the Constitution do not require adopting the lower court’s incoherent definition of ‘marriage’ as merely a ‘committed lifelong relationship,’ which is wildly over-inclusive, empties the term of its meaning, and leads to absurd results.” “Marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, is not an historical relic, but a vital and foundational institution of civil society today,” the USCCB brief states.
(Via Zack Ford @ Think Progress)

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