Mich. brief: Children benefit from having mom, dad

Alliance Defending Freedom submits brief in defense of Mich. marriage amendment
Friday, August 30, 2013

Attorney sound bite:  Jim Campbell

DETROIT — A federal court Thursday agreed to accept a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys in defense of Michigan’s marriage amendment. The brief, submitted on behalf of Michigan Family Forum, argues that the benefit to children of being raised in a home with a mom and a dad is among the many rational and constitutional reasons for the amendment.

“Society should protect and strengthen marriage. Encouraging an environment where children can be raised by a married mother and father is among the many legitimate interests supporting Michigan’s marriage laws,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “It is constitutional for a state to care about what is in the best interest of children and to pass laws in accord with that concern. Our brief demonstrates that good social science supports the common-sense belief that children benefit most from a home with a mom and a dad.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the brief with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, in DeBoer v. Snyder, a lawsuit that seeks to have Michigan’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage as one man and one woman declared unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.

“Strong families are founded on the ideal of a lifelong marriage of one man and one woman,” the brief explains. “Healthy, enduring marriages enrich the lives of the couple, their children, and the community around them. For decades, the social sciences have provided clear and convincing evidence that not all family structures are equal.”

The brief points out that those who support redefining marriage frequently claim that no difference exists in the outcomes of children raised by a biological mother and father and those raised by two women or two men. The brief then cites recent scholarship demonstrating that such a claim is difficult to support.

As the brief contends, “there is no dispute that a biological mother and father provide, on average, an effective and proven environment for raising children. And it is reasonable to conclude that a mother and father function as a complementary parenting unit and that each tends to contribute something unique and beneficial to child development. The State of Michigan thus has a rational interest in supporting that proven parenting structure by reserving the title and status of marriage to unions comprised of a man and a woman.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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