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Thursday, August 18, 2011
ADF on flawed marriage attack: Minn., U.S. Supreme Courts have already settled itBrief explains that judge’s dismissal of attack on Minn. marriage laws rightly cited previous Minn., U.S. high court decisions
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The brief affirms the court’s finding that both the Minnesota Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, in a previous lawsuit, already rejected every major constitutional challenge to Minnesota laws that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The brief also provides numerous other reasons in favor of affirming dismissal of the more recent lawsuit.
“The lifelong, faithful union of a man and a woman is the foundation of every healthy, stable society,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “That’s the legitimate rationale behind Minnesota’s marriage laws. There is no valid constitutional argument undermining that rationale, as the trial court found here when it ruled in accord with binding Minnesota and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”
Several same-sex couples filed the suit Benson v. Alverson in the 4th Judicial District Court after Hennepin County turned down their request for marriage licenses. They appealed after the court ruled against them. The court cited Baker v. Nelson, a Minnesota Supreme Court case that affirmed the validity of laws protecting marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Later, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Baker case because the challenges to the state marriage laws failed to raise “a substantial federal question.”
The ADF brief explains, “The State Supreme Court’s decision in Baker v. Nelson…mandates dismissal of Appellants’ equal-protection and due-process claims. In Baker, the Court held that the state marriage laws ‘do not authorize marriage between persons of the same sex…,’ and that, by failing to permit such marriages, those laws “do not offend the First, Eighth, Ninth, or Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution….”
The Baker v. Nelson decision states that “the right to marry without regard to the sex of the parties” is not a “fundamental right,” and that laws protecting “the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family,” easily satisfy constitutional review.
“No provision of the Minnesota Constitution gives individuals the right to redefine marriage and force that definition on everyone else,” explained ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jim Campbell. “The union between husband and wife benefits society--especially children--in unique and special ways that cannot be duplicated by any other relationship. Marriage promotes the idea that children need a mom and a dad, and it discourages the deliberate establishment of motherless or fatherless homes. These are some of the many critical reasons to preserve and protect marriage.”
The Minnesota Family Council was the primary supporter in achieving enactment of the challenged law.
- Pronunciation guide: Lorence (LOHR’-ents)