The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with several other religious organizations, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to uphold California’s ban on marriage equality. The amicus brief, or friend of the court brief, asked the Court to rule in favor of the ban on marriage equality because leaders believe marriage must remain a union between one man and one woman for the betterment of society.
“Marriage defined as the union of one man and one woman is an axiom of Western civilization — not an attack on the civil rights of gays and lesbians,” the brief reads.
The authors of the brief also argue that marriage is designed to foster an environment to raise children and that heterosexual couples are the best candidates as parents. The brief does not mention gay adoptive or foster parents and does not address the existence of gay families with children.
“Of course, Proposition 8 takes sides in the moral debate over same-sex marriage, but value judgments are unavoidable here because every definition of marriage implies one,” the brief reads.
However, the authors of the brief argue that it’s appropriate to make value judgments against gay and lesbian couples because it has been done throughout history.
“Adopting Proposition 8 recovered a definition of marriage more congruent with voters’ moral sense than the relatively recent and highly individualistic conception imposed by the California Supreme Court,” the brief reads.
Since Proposition 8 passed, multiple public opinion polls have indicated a majority support for marriage equality and voters in three states — Washington, Maryland and Maine — have passed measures legalizing gay marriage.
“The people of California violated no one’s civil rights when they adopted Proposition 8. Their twice-expressed preference for the traditional definition of marriage over an untested rival conception was thoroughly rational. It is therefore thoroughly constitutional,” the brief’s conclusion reads.
Many other organizations, state representative and people have filed briefs with the Supreme Court asking for consideration in ruling for or against marriage equality, including the Utah Pride Center and Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, American Foundation for Equal Rights’ federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, on March 26. The following day the Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, the American Civil Liberty Union’s case challenging the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
AFER’s legal team, led by co-counsels Ted Olson and David Boies, will argue that Prop. 8 violates the United States Constitution, which guarantees same-gender couples like plaintiffs, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, nothing less than full federal marriage equality, said AFER in a release.
“Prop. 8, DOMA and laws like them harm countless gay and lesbian Americans, singling them out for unequal, second-class treatment under the law,” the release further stated.
Prop. 8 has been struck down as unconstitutional by Federal Judge Vaughn Walker and by a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Go here to read the brief filed by the Mormon church.