Prominent Republicans sign pro-gay marriage briefing
Prominent members of the US Republican Party have signed a legal briefing in support of gay marriage.
More than 75 members of the ‘Grand Old Party’ have signed an ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) briefing claiming that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Signatories include former senior members of the Bush and Reagan governments, as well as four former Republican governors and two members of the US Congress, according to a report in the New York Times.
The briefing declares that “there is no legitimate, fact-based justification for different legal treatment of committed relationships between same-sex couples,” and argues that:
“Amici [the signatories] start from the premise—recognized by this Court on at least fourteen occasions—that marriage is both a fundamental right protected by our Constitution and a venerable institution that confers countless benefits, both to those who marry and to society at large. It is precisely because marriage is so important in producing and protecting strong and stable family structures that amici do not agree that the government can rationally promote the goal of strengthening families by denying civil marriage to same-sex couples.”
The briefing will be sent to the US Supreme Court later this week, as the latter formally considers the legality of Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage in California later overturned as unconstitutional by US judge Vaughn Walker.
Meanwhile, US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed a submission with the Supreme Court on Friday in a separate gay rights case, this one concerning the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which excludes same sex couples from government benefits.
Verrilli wrote that the Act:
“…targets the many gay and lesbian people legally married under state law for a harsh form of discrimination that bears no relation to their ability to contribute to society.”
“It is abundantly clear that this discrimination does not substantially advance an interest in protecting marriage, or any other important interest. The statute simply cannot be reconciled with the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Constitution therefore requires that [the Defense of Marriage Act] be invalidated.”
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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