Organizations seeking the preservation of marriage filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to defend the constitutionality of a federal law and state amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Signed by President Clinton in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) also protects the right of any state not to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
The court will also hear the challenge to California’s marriage amendment. The amendment was passed in 2008 by more than 7 million voters.
The court will hear the cases over two days in March.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed its brief Tuesday, arguing that the court should affirm the validity and rational basis of California’s marriage amendment.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks.
The country is at a pivotal point in history.
“Nothing will define the future of America more than the Court’s decision on marriage,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, one of the groups that filed amicus briefs.
Liberty Counsel is asking the court to dismiss the DOMA case, Windsor v. United States. The suit involves a New York woman required to pay taxes on the property her late partner left her in 2007. Their Canadian marriage—recognized by the State of New York — is not recognized under DOMA.
The legal group says she doesn’t have the right to bring the case.
“For Ms. Windsor to have had standing, she needed to be considered a spouse in New York at the time she filed a suit against DOMA, but in 2009, New York recognized only marriages between one man and one woman,” according to Liberty Counsel.
Liberty Counsel also filed a brief asking the court to uphold the constitutionality of California’s marriage amendment.
“America’s very existence is at stake,” Staver said. “Marriage is not simply an artifact of law to regulate Social Security benefits, but an institution of God to procreate and nurture perpetual generations.”
The people behind The Manhattan Declaration also asked the court to preserve marriage.
“Natural Law, the nature of the human person, and common sense provide ample reason to preserve marriage as it has always been understood,” said John Mauck, a Chicago attorney, who filed the brief.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) says it’s improper for gay activists to portray themselves as “victims.”
“CWA’s briefs focus on the undeniable political power of the homosexual movement and why they should never be a ‘suspect class,’” said Penny Nance, the organization’s president and CEO. “Both briefs paint a very clear picture showing we are dealing with one of the most powerful movements in history, even though it represents a very minute section of the population.”
Take Action: Ask Your U.S. Senators to Protect Marriage
Anti-marriage senators may try to use the Defense Authorization bill as a vehicle to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
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Learn more about the Defense of Marriage Act.